Patriots smash Crusaders in baseball rematch

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots baseball team (16-3-1) earned a measure of revenge over the Pensacola-Catholic Crusaders (Fla.) for a loss on Wednesday by taking a 16-5 win on the campus of Enterprise State Community College on March 19.

Pike took an early 1-0 lead on a home run in the first inning but fell behind 2-1 in the third inning. The Pats tied the score in the fourth inning and then took control in the fifth inning with four runs to go up 6-2. Pensacola cut the lead to 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning but Pike scored two runs in the sixth inning and then exploded with eight more runs in the seventh to seal the win.

Drew Nelson was on fire at the plate for Pike, going 4-for-5 with a double, a home run, three RBIs and three runs. Payne Jefcoat also went 3-for-3 at the plate with one RBI and two runs, while John Lott went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs. Levi Deboer and Cason Eubanks also scored two runs, while KC Bradford, Darryl Lee, Skylar Kidd, Kase Chirico and Arden Wiser scored one run each.

Press Jefcoat toed the rubber for the Pats and fanned five batters, while giving up seven hits and five earned runs in five innings on the mound. Lee also pitched two innings and struck out four batters, while giving up no hits or runs.

Jackson Hiatt went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run for Pensacola, while he also pitched three and 2/3 innings with one strikeout along with allowing four hits and five earned runs. Will Krehely also pitched two innings and struck out five Patriot batters, while giving up seven hits and 10 earned runs.

Pike will be back in action on Thursday at home against Glenwood Academy at 4 p.m.