Rebels run out: ACCS drops two games to Central Private, fails to make playoffs

Published 12:10 am Thursday, April 19, 2018

Adams County Christian School senior Jacob McDaniel didn’t know what to think while walking off the Rebels’ baseball field Wednesday night.

Yet, he did know how he was feeling.

“Extremely sad,” McDaniel said. “It’s the last time I’ll play high school baseball. We have one more game but this was my last actual high school game at AC. It’s hard to get my head around it.”

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Entering Wednesday’s doubleheader against Central Private, ACCS needed to win one of the two games to go to the playoffs. However, the Rebels suffered the same fate in each game: a loss.

In the first game of the doubleheader, ACCS was playing catch-up from the get go. Central Private was able to build a 3-0 before the Rebels were able to record their first hit outside of the first inning — which was a solo home run by Jack Whitehead. ACCS would go onto to lose 6-1 in the first game.

Although the Rebels couldn’t match Central Private’s intensity in the Game 1, the blue and white had a chance to capture Game 2. But it slipped through the Rebels’ hands in the top of the seventh — they lost 8-5 in eight innings.

“It was there for the taking,” said coach Matthew Freeman. “We had every opportunity, we had a chance to hit a cut off relay and get the out to win it there. We had a chance to get a runner to cross home and we obviously didn’t do it. That’s stuff that we have to live with. That’s baseball.”

Heading into the top of the seventh, ACCS was up 4-2 after overcoming a 2-0 deficit. But with one out to get and claim a playoff spot, the Rebels just couldn’t get it done.

On a fielder’s choice, Central Private was able to get two runners across home before ACCS could get the final third out of the seventh inning. After that, it was all Central Private.

In the eighth, Central Private tacked on four more runs while ACCS scored one more thanks to Rhett McDonald getting hit by a pitch.

“We didn’t make the plays tonight,” Freeman said. “We didn’t execute. We didn’t get the job done basically. The pitchers did their job, others didn’t.”

Despite the loss, seniors such as McDaniel, Josh Day and Caden Gillespie will have a chance to end their final year in a Rebel uniform on a good note as ACCS takes on Brookhaven Academy at Southwest Community College this Friday — which was meant as a playoff tune-up at the beginning of the season Freeman said.

When asked about not making the playoffs considering the talent and the exceptions heading into this season, Freeman pondered his answer for almost a minute before offering no comment.

With the game against Brookhaven Academy, Freeman hopes his seniors do get a proper send off. Yet, he would also like to see what the younger players can do.

“Definitely give some of the younger guys some opportunities during that game,” Freeman said. “You want to give your seniors a shot to end the year on a good note, but at the same time you want to use that as a chance to give younger guys an opportunity.”

Although the Rebels will have a shot to end the year on a high note, they know a playoff berth fell through the cracks.

“It just slipped out of our fingers,” McDaniel said. “It was like it was right there but it slipped out of your finger tips.

“We definitely had the talent. I feel sorry. I can’t describe how it feels.”