ACCS scores run in final inning to top district rival Laurel Christian, 5-4

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 25, 2017

Adams County Christian School baseball coach Matthew Freeman says freshman catcher Jack Whitehead is mature beyond his years.

On Friday night, the Rebel backstop proved why his coach speaks about him in a high regard.

With ACCS and Laurel Christian tied in the bottom of the seventh inning and two out, Whitehead worked a bases-loaded walk to give the Rebels a 5-4 victory over their district rivals.

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“(Whitehead) eats and sleeps baseball. He knows the game,” Freeman said. “I have (opposing) coaches ask me all the time if he’s a senior.”

The win for the Rebels (11-9, 1-1) evens the season series with the Lions as LCS earned a 3-2 win over ACCS on Tuesday night.

“(The at-bat) was just chaos,” said Whitehead, who fouled off several two-strike pitches. “It felt good because I know we lost to them, and that put us behind in district. This boosts our confidence. We were able to come back in that last inning and put a run up.”

ACCS entered the seventh inning clinging to a one-run lead, but LCS managed to tie the game. Tom Scoogin stole second base and never slowed, scoring on an overthrow by Whitehead and a fielding error by center fielder Terrance Charles.

But Whitehead didn’t blink.

ACCS loaded the bases with nobody out, but Cole Gatlin and Alex McCready both struck out, leaving the outcome in Whitehead’s hands.

“A senior put the pressure on a junior, and then the junior put the pressure on the freshman, and the freshman delivered,” Freeman said. “Sometimes, it’s the little guy that steps up.”

Whitehead wasn’t the only freshman that turned in a strong effort as Charles reached base safely three times, including a double, and Rhet McDonald produced a run-scoring single.

“You’d like to be senior heavy, because you want all that experience, but to have kids step up like that and help you win games, that’s huge,” Freeman said.

ACCS starting pitcher Jacob McDaniel tossed six strong innings before turning the seventh over to Marshall Edmonds. The junior right-hander struck out nine batters, but walked three batters and hit two more.

“I challenged (McDaniel) today,” Freeman said. “I wanted him to go at least five or six (innings) for us to keep his pitch count low and challenge them with his fastball. I feel like he did that tonight. He just battled.”

The Rebels started off with a bang, taking a 4-0  lead after just one inning. McDonald and Edmonds each had run-scoring singles, while McCready drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Whitehead drove in McDaniel with an RBI groundout.

Laurel Christian, however, wouldn’t go away quietly. The Lions plated two runs in the fourth and one each of the six and seventh innings to tie the game.

ACCS will be back in action Tuesday when it hosts Simpson Academy in another district showdown.