By Zach Shugan
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — It’s tough to fail when you’re firing on all cylinders, and that’s exactly the position the Mount Pisgah baseball team found itself in against Weber.
Until the seventh inning, when seemingly out of nowhere the Rams reversed roles and pulled out what was nearly a game-winning rally.
Mount Pisgah held on to defeat region foe Weber on Thursday at the Patriot Athletic Complex, winning 8-7 over the late-blooming Rams, who put up five runs in the final inning. Mount Pisgah junior and Sacramento State commit Benjy Tucker tossed 10 strikeouts in five scoreless innings, and the Patriots tallied seven hits as team.
Mount Pisgah head coach Jamey Woods commended the Patriots’ ace for his effort on the mound Thursday and his contributions so far this season, both on the mound and at the plate.
“[Tucker’s] had a couple outing where it’s gotten away from him, and both times he’s come back and been lights out,” Woods said. “And he’s been hitting the ball well. He’s our second-leading hitter on the team.”
Tucker got off to a hot start on the mound, striking out three batters in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half of the inning, the Patriots batted through the entire lineup and scored four runs in the process. Freshmen Aidan Pullaro and Jack Ward both had two-RBI hits, giving Mount Pisgah a 4-0 lead in the opening inning.
Tucker struck out three more Weber batters in the top of the second inning, and the Patriots added a couple runs to their lead in the bottom of the frame. Sam Love scored on a passed ball after reaching base on a walk, and Tucker scored on a ground ball by Kaden Alford, giving Mount Pisgah a 6-0 lead through two innings.
The score remained the same for a couple innings until Tucker helped his own cause with a hit to the fence in the bottom of the fifth inning, bringing across two runs that seemed rather meaningless at the time but went on to be pivotal to the game’s outcome.
Senior Jack Godsey replaced Tucker for Mount Pisgah to start the sixth inning, returning to the mound for the first time in over a month due to an injury. The Flagler signee struck out two batters in the sixth inning, but he also gave up two runs, making it an 8-2 game going into the final inning.
Weber nearly pulled off a comeback in the top of the seventh. A walk and two singles loaded the bases for the Rams, and then they quickly started cutting into the Patriots’ lead. The Rams scored five runs on four straight at-bats, as Godsey gave up two singles, a fielder’s choice and a hit-by-pitch.
“We needed to get [Godsey] some innings to see where he is,” Woods said. “And putting him in today was kind of the worst case scenario for him. When you threw a guy that’s upper 80s-low 90s then you bring a guy who’s mid-80s right behind him, you’re basically speeding their barrel up. We knew they were going to put some balls in play, but we didn’t help ourselves and made it closer than we should’ve.”
With the score suddenly down to 8-7, Mount Pisgah junior Walker Harris took over on the mound and got the two outs needed to secure the victory.
With the win, Mount Pisgah held on to first place in the Region 6-A Private standings and set the stage for a massive two-game series next week with Fellowship Christian, the second-place team in the region.
If Fellowship wins both games on Apr. 12 and 13, it would clinch its first region title in program history. If Mount Pisgah wins at least one of the games against the Paladins and its last two games of the region games against last-place Lakeview Academy, the Patriots would clinch their first region title in program history.
|team||region record||overall record|
|1. Mount Pisgah||(5-1)||(8-9)|
|3. King’s Ridge||(4-4)||(12-6)|
|4. St. Francis||(4-5)||(7-11)|