Patriots slip by Eagles 8-7

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Sports Writer

GREENVILLE – Catcher Wes Johnson went 3-for-4 scored once and drove in two runs as the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots snapped a six game losing streak to upend the Fort Dale Academy Eagles 8-7 at Walt Cavanaugh Field in Greenville late Monday afternoon.

The Patriots (2-6) looked as if they were going to let an easy win slip away as the Eagles (1-12) rallied to score five runs in the bottom of the seventh before falling just short allowing PLAS to preserve the win.

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Unlike most of their previous outings this season, the Patriots drew first blood scoring four runs in the opening inning. With

two runners on base and one out, Bill Hughes scored on a passed ball for the game’s first run. Moments later, Brandon Hooks drilled an RBI single bringing in Matt Floyd to give the Patriots a 2-0 advantage. After Hooks came around to score on a wild pitch, Drew Kilpatrick delivered another RBI single scoring Druid Conrad to cap the inning.

Meanwhile, junior pitcher Layton Sanders kept the Patriots in front by getting out of several jams as the Eagles wasted numerous scoring opportunities early in the game. Sanders earned the win by pitching 6 1/3 innings allowing four runs on four hits, walking five and striking out six batters.

After Conrad scored on Johnson’s RBI double in the top of the third to extend the Pike lead to 5-0, the Eagles got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Clint Philpot drilled an RBI single bringing in Ty Langston from third base.

The Patriots got a gift wrapped run in the top of the fifth when Johnson singled

before advancing to third when FDA right fielder Josh Till mis-played the ball as it rolled to the fence allowing the runner to advance to third base. One batter later, Kilpatrick drove in his second RBI of the day to give PLAS a 6-1 edge.

With PLAS leading 6-2 in the top of the seventh, the Patriots added a pair of insurance runs when Hooks tripled and scored on Conrad’s RBI single to lead off the inning. After stealing second and advancing to third on Scott Kirby’s sacrifice fly, Conrad scored on Johnson’s RBI ground out for what proved to be the game winning run.

However, the Eagles made it interesting in bottom of the seventh as they attempted to extend the Patriots’ 2001 misery. With one out, Till and pinch hitter Mike Hollyfield reached on walks before Langston singled to load the bases forcing PLAS head coach Butch Austin to lift Sanders for Floyd in relief. One batter later, Adam Crenshaw drew an RBI walk cutting the deficit to 8-3. After Philpot struck out, Bill Cates delivered a two RBI single to left field just under the shortstop’s glove to trim the PLAS lead to 8-5. One batter later, pinch hitter Brad Joiner delivered a two RBI double which was just fair down the left field line to bring in Crenshaw and Cates cutting the PLAS lead to 8-7. However, Floyd was able to get Jimmy Moody to ground out to shortstop to end the game.

Other individual leaders for the Patriots included Conrad going 2-for-3 driving in two runs and scoring three times, while Hooks went 2-for-4 driving in one run and scoring twice for PLAS in the winning effort. Kilpatrick also had a productive day at the plate, going 2-for-4 and bringing in a pair of runs for PLAS.

Philpot and Cates each had two hits for the Eagles,

while Crenshaw and Joiner drove in two runs apiece in a losing cause.

PLAS (SB) 13 Fort Dale Academy 3

Malorie Sanders went 2-for-3 and scored three runs as the Pike Liberal Arts Lady Patriots improved to 4-4 overall with a convincing 13-3 victory over the Fort Dale Academy Lady Eagles in fast pitch softball action at Greenville’s Beeland Park Complex Monday afternoon.

Anna Fannin added a two run homer and Miranda Paul scored two runs in the winning effort.

Trisha Lucas scored one run for the Lady Patriots.

After a road game at Hooper Academy Tuesday afternoon, the Patriots return to region action Friday afternoon when they host Lee Scott Academy. The first pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Patriot Field.