Rayborn impressive as ACCS blanks Porter’s Chapel

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 27, 2001

When the Porter’s Chapel Eagles and the Adams County Christian School Rebels varsity baseball teams met at Porter’s Chapel on March 6, Rebel junior pitcher Christopher Rayborn and Eagle pitcher Heath Smith combined for an astounding 35 strikeouts.

Rayborn had 20 strikeouts and Smith 15 in that game, won by the Rebels 4-1 in nine innings.

Monday night, Rayborn, back on the mound for his first full game in nearly two weeks after nursing a lower back injury, pitched a complete-game three-hitter and struck out 11 batters as the Rebels defeated the Eagles 7-0 at the Rebel baseball field.

&uot;I wasn’t as overpowering as I was the last time when I had 20 strikeouts,&uot; Rayborn said. &uot;The curve was good. The fastball was good.&uot;

&uot;We let him throw some the other night against Hillcrest, and I let him throw on the side in practice Saturday and he got his confidence back,&uot; said ACCS baseball coach Gill Morris.

ACCS started off well in the first when Trey Mardis went to first base after being hit by a pitch by Eagles starting pitcher Trey White. Mardis quickly advanced to third when Caleb Walker grounded out to first. Then Mardis scored on an RBI single by designated hitter Te Riley for a 1-0 Rebel lead after one inning. Porter’s Chapel’s duo of Drew Embry and T.J. Smith were the only players that seemed to give Rayborn trouble. Embry, a left-handed hitter, walked in the top of the second and fourth innings, which were each followed by base hits by Smith. Embry had a chance to score in the second, but was caught in a rundown between third and home and was tagged out by catcher Lee Watts.

&uot;Good pitching, good defense and good hitting. That’s the first game in which we put everything together,&uot; Morris said.

ACCS (6-4) increased its lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the second when Dustin Perry reached first after being hit by a White pitch and later scored when Mardis was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

White and reliever Catfish Hensley combined for five hit batsmen in the game.

The Rebels then scored three times in the bottom of the third as Riley led off by hitting a first-pitch home run over the scoreboard in left center field. Watts tripled and scored on a wild pitch, and Perry walked and later scored on an RBI single by Mardis.

&uot;I got up there thinking he was coming at me after I singled,&uot; Riley said. &uot;He just grooved it for me and I got lucky. I didn’t know it was going to be high enough.&uot;

Russ Marks hit a two-out double in the bottom of the fourth and later scored on a Boo Burchfield RBI single.

Mardis hit a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Walker to complete the scoring.

Porter’s Chapel dropped to 10-4 with the loss. ACCS next plays at Brookhaven Academy with the B-team game at 2 p.m. followed by the varsity game at 4 p.m. Saturday.