Adams County Christian first baseman Wade Simpson, left, applies a tag to the helmet of Porter’s Chapel baserunner Taylor Rushing during Saturday’s game at ACCS. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Adams County Christian first baseman Wade Simpson, left, applies a tag to the helmet of Porter’s Chapel baserunner Taylor Rushing during Saturday’s game at ACCS. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

ACCS overcomes early 6-0 deficit, storms back to win 17-7

Published 12:01am Sunday, March 10, 2013

NATCHEZ — Things looked less than favorable for Luke Thomas and the Adams County Christian School baseball team going into the bottom of the first.

Porter’s Chapel Academy had just tagged Thomas for six runs, five earned, in the top of the first, putting the Rebels in a 6-0 hole heading into the bottom half of the frame.

But instead of folding up like a lawn chair, the Rebels went to work, slowly eating away at the Porter’s Chapel lead. Thomas yielded only one more run in four more innings of work, and ACCS stormed back to win 17-7 in six innings.

“We couldn’t get distracted and let it affect us,” ACCS head coach Hunter McKeivier said of being down early, “We had to play our game, come in and be able to manufacture some runs to be able to get back in the ball game to start out.”

ACCS was able to cut the lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the first. Dylan Galbreath scored after a pickoff attempt at second base sailed into the outfield. Cody Rhinehart scored on an error, and Brandon Ross came in on a wild pitch.

Adams County Christian School pitcher Luke Thomas, left, delivers a pitch to Porter’s Chapel batter Schuyler Cool during the game. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Adams County Christian School pitcher Luke Thomas, left, delivers a pitch to Porter’s Chapel batter Schuyler Cool during the game. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

In the bottom of the second, ACCS made it 6-4 when Taylor Buckles came home on an infield single by Rhinehart.

Porter’s Chapel scored its final run in the top of the third when Taylor Rushing came home on a double by Schuyler Cool. It was Thomas’ only blemish following the first inning as he went five innings, gave up seven runs, six earned, on 11 hits and one walk and struck out seven to secure the win.

“I just settled down, took a deep breath and threw strikes,” Thomas said.

McKeivier said it took an inning for Thomas to settle in, but once he did, he gave the Rebels the innings they needed.

“Luke was struggling a little bit trying to get his breaking ball over in the beginning of the game,” McKeiver said. “Once he was able to do that, we started being able to establish getting ahead in the count, and he was able to get a lot of ground ball and fly ball outs. I think in the first inning he had a little bit of jitters.”

The Rebels finally took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Buckles scored on an error, Galbreath and Rhinehart both came home on wild pitches and Ross doubled in Bradley Jones, giving ACCS an 8-7 lead.

Thomas said his team’s offense helped him settle in as he went deeper into the game.

“It helps a lot,” Thomas said. “It takes a lot of pressure off of you.”

Buckles and Galbreath both scored on errors in the bottom of the fifth to make it 10-7 ACCS. Tyler Wilson came in relief for ACCS in the top of the sixth, giving up just a hit and a walk before getting a strikeout to end the inning.

ACCS tacked on seven more runs in the bottom of the six to force the 10-runs-after-five mercy rule.

Cody Rhinehart led ACCS on offense, going 4-for-5 with a double. ACCS (3-4) will host Franklin County High School Monday.