Cole Akins’ RBI single capped a two-run rally in the top of the fifth inning, as Bethlehem Christian Academy picked up a 6-5 win in an abbreviated nightcap, splitting a season-opening doubleheader at Jackson County on Friday, Feb. 19.
The sophomore Akins went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs as the Knights (1-1) scored all six of their runs in the final two frames of the five-inning second game. With BCA down 1-0 in the fourth, Bryce Peppers reached base on an error, Cody Craft singled and Trevor Slaick reached on a dropped third strike to load the bases. Conner Hilton followed with an RBI single and laid down a bunt for a hit to give the Knights a 2-1 lead, and singles from Brady Logan and Mattox Harden later in the inning brought in two more runs.
The Panthers rallied for four runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth on a bases-loaded walk, two-run single and passed ball to regain the lead at 5-4. Peppers led off the BCA fifth with a single and later came around to score on an RBI groundout by Hilton before Akins’ go-ahead hit.
Parker Torres worked a scoreless fifth on the mound in relief of Peppers, who started the game, to pick up the save.
Jackson County took the first game of the doubleheader 6-4, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first to grab an early 3-0 lead. The Knights, who had just two hits in the game, cut the deficit to 3-2 in the second on a two-run triple by Ty Whiting, but the Panthers responded with runs in the second, fourth and fifth to up their lead to 6-2.
Slaick had a two-run double with one out in the sixth to make it 6-4, but Jackson County’s Weston Skinner escaped further trouble with a groundout and pop out and Derek Vaughn pitched a scoreless seventh to preserve the victory for the Panthers.
Hilton worked the first 3 2/3 innings on the hill for the Knights, and Drew Baker logged 2 1/3 innings.
BCA will be back in action at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, for its home opener against Notre Dame Academy.