Like two heavyweight prize fighters, the baseball teams for Bethlehem Christian Academy and Fullington Academy slugged it out for three games Saturday and Monday.
When all was said and done, BCA — the champion — survived to play another day. After both teams posted 4-3 wins Saturday, the Knights used a two-run homer by Brad Toxen in the bottom of the sixth inning in Monday’s third and deciding contest to advance to the semifinals.
Make no mistake, Fullington tested BCA like no team in GISA Class A has done this spring. There was even talk at the ballpark that the Trojans and Knights were the two best teams in their classification. They just happened to meet in the quarterfinals.
That remains to be seen, but one thing that was learned from the second round matchup is that BCA can win close games and not just lopsided contests. The Knights proved a lot to themselves in this series, as well as to the rest of the teams remaining in the playoffs.
It was one of those series where every pitch — be it a strike or a ball — was important. Fans, players, coaches and all spectators hung on every play, every out, every run.
In this series, runs were at a premium. BCA, which typically scores runs at will, was limited to 10 runs over three games. That’s pretty strong pitching by the opponent, regardless of who that foe might be.
Fullington is no doubt still disappointed by the outcome.
The Trojans players performed well and in many aspects, deserved to win just as much as the Knights. Unfortunately in a series like this, only one team can advance.
It remains to be seen where BCA goes from here. On paper, they are considered the favorite in the semifinal series with Robert Toombs.
However, the Knights will be on the road for the first time in the playoffs in program history. It’s always tougher on the road and BCA will have to overcome any obstacle that may bring.
Crisp Academy and David Emanuel will meet in the other semifinal bracket. The BCA Knights have met both programs in the postseason before. However, it is pointless to look ahead to the championship. Business awaits BCA later this week against Robert Toombs. Any team which makes it this far is going to be a formidable opponent.
Still, one can’t help but wonder if the Knights are once again a team of destiny.
They stared elimination in the face Monday and never blinked. It was a gutsy performance and one that won’t be forgotten soon.
The heavyweight champion still holds the crown and from all indications, it will take a mighty strong challenger to dethrone this king of the mountain.
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.