Amite too much for Trinity to handle

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2001

When the baseball teams from Trinity, Amite, Huntington and Pine Hills get together, close ballgames are the rule.

&uot;Everybody that’s playing here, (the ballgames) have been one-run games,&uot; said Amite coach Eddie Harden.

So it probably came as no surprise to fans that the MPSA District 5-1A first-round game between the Trinity Saints and the Amite Rebels battled to a one-run game. In this close contest, Amite topped the Saints 6-5, using a two-run fifth inning to break a 4-4 tie. Amite advances to the winner’s bracket of the tournament. Trinity falls into the loser’s bracket, playing in the elimination game at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

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&uot;We battled with them the whole game,&uot; said Trinity catcher Chase Brown, who went one for three and scored a run. &uot;It was good pitching the whole game.&uot;

Amite pitcher John David McKay threw exceptionally well, striking out nine Saint batters while yielding four hits in four innings of work. In the fourth and fifth innings, McKay struck out the side. And in the sixth, he gave up his first hit to the first batter of the inning, but battled back to retire the next three Saints.

&uot;He spotted his fastball and his curveball was breaking real good,&uot; Brown said. &uot;He had a good day pitching.&uot;

McKay said the key to his pitching was getting the fastball over for a first-pitch strike and then following that up with a solid curveball.

But the Saint offense started to solve McKay in the top of the seventh. Chad Ridley sliced a double into the left-centerfield gap. He then scored on Joey Wilson’s looping single to left. But Wilson was gunned down in a bang-bang play at second base trying to stretch his single into a double.

Next, Cole Brown reached on a throwing error. But he erased himself by running into Walt Ketchings’ grounder to the second baseman. Wes Middleton then lofted a base hit to right field, just out of the reach of the second basemen. McKay struck out Elliot Meng with men at first and second to end the threat and the game.

&uot;The last inning, we started a rally,&uot; Brown said. &uot;We hung in there for a while, but it slipped away from us.&uot;

The win was a much-needed one for Amite.

&uot;We’ve been in a hole. I think this will get us out of it,&uot; said McKay. &uot;We’ve been struggling.&uot;

Trinity started the game with a bang. In the second inning, Meng got on base by way of an error and then Gregory Ketchings smacked a two-run homer to give the Saints a 2-0 lead.

Brown singled and scored on Ryan Rachal’s double. The lead didn’t last for long, though, as Amite tallied three runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the game 3-3.

Trinity took the lead again in the top of the third. Meng clubbed a double to the left-centerfield gap, scoring Walt Ketchings. The Rebels responded in the bottom of the inning to tie the contest 4-4, as William Dillon touched home on a Meng wild pitch.

Trinity faces the loser of the Huntington/Pine Hills match-up. &uot;If we play our best baseball, we can beat both those teams.&uot;