Baseball: Trojans bash through Lions, Center Hill falls in playoff action
Photo: Northpoint coach Stephen Kirkpatrick and the rest of the bench watch the action during Saturday afternoon’s victory over Trinity Christian Academy. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
Since a 3-2 loss to Evangelical Christian School (ECS) on Thursday, the Northpoint Christian School baseball team has seen no shortage of offense as the Trojans is continuing its run through the TSSAA D2-A West Region tournament.
Saturday afternoon, the Trojans continued bashing the baseball to the tune of a 12-0, five-inning victory over Trinity Christian Academy (TCA) of Jackson, Tennessee to reach Monday’s region semifinal game.
Friday, Northpoint posted 10 runs in the second inning of a 13-1 win over Lausanne Collegiate, also in five innings, a result that eliminated Lausanne and assured Northpoint of moving on in the state D2-A playoffs.
Against TCA, the Trojans scored eight times in the second after getting a 1-0 after one inning, and put the game away with a three-run fourth inning.
“We just really wanted to keep the momentum going from yesterday,” said Northpoint coach Stephen Kirkpatrick. “The second inning, we kind of locked in, were able to get a lead, get some balls to fall for us, hit some balls hard and felt good about it.”
As strong as the offense was for Northpoint, pitchers Sammy Chapman and Jace Robinson combined on a no-hitter against the Lions. Chapman struck out three to open the game and Robinson entered to relieve in the fourth, putting down two Lions on strikes in the two innings he worked.
Offensively, Conner McKnatt homered among 13 Northpoint hits, Cade Freeze scored two runs with three hits, Hudson Brown had three hits and drove in four runs, and Justin Hall also scored a pair of runs for the Trojans. Brown and Freeze both doubled for Northpoint in the win.
“Cade (Freeze) has really come on for us in the second half of the season and that’s been huge, just because we need him to do it,” Kirkpatrick said.
The road for Northpoint to defend its West Region championship remains a challenge, however. The Trojans return to their home diamond Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. to play Tipton-Rosemark Academy. If Northpoint wins, the Trojans will turn around and get a rematch with ECS Monday evening, but Northpoint would need to beat the Eagles on Monday evening and again on Tuesday, if needed, to take the region title.
As part of the region’s Final Four, the Trojans advance to the state playoffs, with their seeding determined by the team’s finish in the regionals.
GERMANTOWN (MADISON) 10, CENTER HILL 0 (5 INNINGS): A six-run fourth inning by Germantown (Madison) led to the end of the baseball season for the Center Hill Mustangs Saturday night with a 10-0, five-inning victory for the home Mavericks. Germantown won the MHSAA 6A playoff series in three games.
The loss did not dim on a successful season for the Mustangs, a year that led to Center Hill posting its first 20-win baseball record in school history.
The Mavericks fashioned a 4-0 lead through two innings, but the six-run fourth would give Germantown enought of a cushion to end the game with the run rule after the Mustangs were set down in the fifth.
Center Hill was held to just two hits in the loss, singles by Ayden Rodgers and Houston Green, also was also tagged with all 10 runs, seven of which were earned runs. Green fanned two in four and a third innings on the hill. Nolan Turner walked two and struck out one in wrapping up his time on the mound in relief of Green.