Varnado comes up short in doubleheader

Published 2:20 pm Friday, April 14, 2017

Varnado suffered a pair of one-run losses, 3-2 and 9-8, to Covenant Christian Academy in a District 8-1A doubleheader that took place at Franklinton High School.
Covenant Christian went in front for good in the seventh inning of both games.
In the opener, Varnado led 2-0 after five innings, but Covenant Christian scored a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh.
Cam Oliver began the sixth with a single to center and advanced to second when Logan Arceneaux grounded out to second on a hit-and-run. He went to third on a bunt-and-run sacrifice from Mason Kilgore. Austin Champagne walked, setting up runners on the corners and two outs for Hayden Smith. During Smith’s at-bat, Champagne took off prior to one of the pitches. The throw to second was late and Oliver scored on the play to make it 2-1.
Caleb Seitz led off the seventh with a bad-hop double that bounced over the shortstop’s head and into left field. Kaleb Wilson singled and stole second before Devin Babin plated Seitz with the tying run, but a throwing error back to the pitcher allowed Wilson to tally the go-ahead run.
Varnado had two hitters reach in the seventh, but a couple of miscues on the bases hurt the Wildcats in the 3-2 loss.
Varnado took a 2-0 lead with a run each in the fourth and fifth.
Xavier Moses started the fourth inning with a single and courtesy runner Jaccorious Bickham later scored on a sacrifice fly by Trace Lozier to break the scoreless tie.
The Wildcats had a two-out rally the following inning, beginning with Jaroderick Robinson singling to left. Robinson moved to third on Travon Stokes’ double to left. Robinson originally held up at third, but took off for the plate when throw to the cutoff man was dropped.
The Wildcats had five hits — one each by Moses, Jaylan Jefferson, Robinson, Stokes and ClaDarriun Robertson.
Moses was the hard-luck losing pitcher. He went all seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits with six strikeouts, three walks and a hit batter.
Varnado coach Clay Tageant said he couldn’t say enough about Moses’ performance.
“He was locked in,” Tageant said. “He developed a great rhythm and kept their hitters off balance by throwing all pitches for a strike in any count. It’s hard as a coach to watch one of your seniors compete like that and not get a win.”
Oliver had half of the six hits, with Smith, Seitz and Wilson having one each.
Covenant Christian was the home team for the second game and won on a walkoff safety squeeze, 9-8.
“I was very pleased with the way my guys competed,” Tageant said. “Baseball is a tough sport. It’s a game of failure and sometimes things just do not go your way. But I believe playing in two, one-run games against one of the best teams in class 1A will pay off for us down the road. Our guys will be comfortable in close games because they have been in that atmosphere. We will get back on the horse and keep getting after our opponents.”
The Wildcats had 10 hits in the second game.
Errol Varnado and Jefferson had two each. Varnado tripled and scored. Jefferson doubled twice and drove in a run.
Moses, Ja’Kyle Newkirk, Robinson, Armontee Kemp, Stokes and Robertson all had one hit.
Moses scored three runs, Newkirk tripled, scored and drove in two runs, Robinson scored a run and Robertson doubled.
Bickham scored two runs for the Wildcats.

Varnado’s Ja’Roderick Robinson runs to third on Travon Stokes’ double during the fifth inning of the first game Tuesday. Robinson scored when the cutoff man dropped the throw coming in from the outfielder.