Prep Baseball Report

Liberty Christian Takes 4A Crown

Click to edit entry

Follow @PBRVirginiaDC 
+ Periscope

By Jon Kaufman 
 PBR VA Southwest Area Coverage

Today, Liberty Christian Academy Bulldog's baseball team erased all of the pain from last year's "big dance" with a resounding cheer, downing the Hanover Hawks 8-5, and claiming the 4A crown in the Virginia State Tournament.

Junior hurler Austin Roach was tabbed as the starter for LCA, and lefty Antonio Balducci toed the mound for the Hawks of Hanover. These teams met in the 2016 State Championship game, with Hanover winning a back-and-forth shootout. This game would be different.

Roach retired the Hawks in order in the first, and Balducci sent the Bulldog's first two batters to a quick walk to the bench. Pearce Howard (Southeastern CC) was hit by a pitched ball and moved to second base when Hunter Johnson (James Madison) worked a base on balls, bringing Kyle Horton (South Carolina) to the plate. With two outs, Horton ripped a line drive, scoring both runners, and provided a two run margin for the Bulldogs.

Hanover's Camden Grimes belted a double to open the second inning, and scored the Hawk's first run on an infield error.

DH Noah Robbins's one out single in the home second inning must have started a chain reaction on the Bulldog's bench. Emmanual Jones worked a walk, and lead-off man Noah Cook (VMI) and Wesley Clarke (South Carolina) put together a couple of base hits, and the bags were jammed. The red hot bat of Howard doubled to right field scoring Robbins, Emmanuel, and Cook. Howard would score on Horton's second RBI in two innings, and Jacob Williams crossed the plate from Robbins sacrifice fly. In all,the Bulldogs created six runs in the second frame forging a 7-1 advantage.

In the visitors fourth, The Hawks catcher, Michael Warley, walked and stole second base, sending Camden Grimes to the plate. The Hanover third sacker is perhaps the best hitter in the line-up and he proved that point with a soaring home run over the high leftfield wall, closing the gap to an 8-3 ballgame.

Hanover righthander Nick Zona (Virginia Tech) took over for Balducci and threw a four shutout innings the rest of the way, allowing four hits, clamping down on the Bulldogs scoring machine, and even collected two hits and two late runs for good measure today. The final score was 8-5.

Roach braved the searing climate and Hanover's bats today. He allowed five hits over seven innings, walked five, recorded three strike-outs, and most importantly, brought the Bulldogs a 4A State Championship for LCA and the City of Lynchburg.