by Anthony Sizemore, Student Sportswriter
The Alice Lloyd Eagles were playing host to another conference opponent in a four-game series. This time the Eagles hosted the Point Park Pioneers on Friday and Saturday. The games were played in Pippa Passes, Kentucky.
The Eagles got off to a good start by taking the first game of the set as they sent Neil Dillon to the mound. Point Park countered with Sean Clark. The home team scored two runs in the very first inning to take a 2-0 advantage. Later in the third inning, ALC extended their lead to 4-0 by adding two more runs. Going for the shutout, Dillon held the Pioneers to six scoreless innings. He only allowed 5 hits and walked 1 batter. He also had 7 strikeouts. The performance was big considering the fact that the Eagles bullpen was limited due to injuries. Jake Bales drove in two runs for the Eagles while Cody Hyden and Shane Pack got into the RBI column, as well.
The second game of the Friday double-header was a pitcher’s duel between ALC’s Wayne Sparks and Point Park’s Manny Perdomo. Point Park was able to get on the board first with an RBI groundout in the first inning by Jordan Crowell. The score would stay 1-0 in favor of the Pioneers for the next few innings until Brandon Arnold delivered a clutch RBI single to tie the game at 1-1 in the home half of the fifth. In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the tying run at second, Brandon’s brother Josh Arnold came to bat. Little brother would come up huge as he drove in the go-ahead run on an RBI single that would score pinch-runner Neil Dillon. Sparks pitched the Eagles second consecutive complete game as he surrendered just the 1 run along with 5 hits and walked 2 batters. He also recorded 4 strikeouts.
It was all Point Park in the third game of the series. The pitching match-up was Nathan Sphon for Point Park against Dylan Sullins for the Eagles. For the first four innings, it was scoreless and anyone’s game. However, in the fifth inning, Point Park was able to score three runs to take the 3-0 cushion. In the top of the sixth, Point Park blew the game open with nine runs to make their lead insurmountable. Sullins pitched five and a third innings, allowing 6 runs (5 earned) on 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 1. Russ Sweeney and Jordan Horn pitched one and two-thirds innings of relief. They allowed 6 runs (5 earned) and allowed 3 walks.
Despite the outcome of game 3, the Eagles still had a chance to take the series. It was Isaiah Marsh for Point Park versus Chance Westerfield for ALC in the series finale. The pitchers had their way through three innings when there was no score. Point Park would change that in the fourth, however, with a three-run inning to jump on top. Alice Lloyd was able to get one of those runs back in the sixth to slice the lead to 3-1. Point Park got that run back in the next half-inning to make it 4-1.
The home team was not going to go down without a fight. The Eagles were able to get two runs in the last inning but were unable to get the tying run home to send the game to extra innings. Jake Bales, Cody Hyden and Greg Wright had the “ribbies” for the Eagles. Westerfield had a solid outing, going five innings while surrendering 3 runs on 8 hits and had 1 walk with 1 strikeout. Daniel Burgess and Mackenzie Hicks pitched a combined two innings out of the pen, allowing 2 hits, 1 run and produced 1 strikeout.
The Eagles’ doubleheader versus Tennessee Temple was cancelled (weather) for Monday, March 25th. Games versus Tennessee Temple on March 26th beginning at 1 PM are still a go as of the time of writing, however, they are in doubt due to a forecast of unseasonably cold temperatures and snow.