There is still plenty of road in front of the Bethlehem Christian Academy baseball team in 2016, but last week’s performance in the annual Border Wars Tournament can only be viewed as a positive sign.
The Knights went 3-1 at the three-day event, which traditionally features some of the toughest competition BCA encounters each spring. Coach Matt Nicks team earned wins against Lee Scott Academy (3-2), Monroe Academy (4-3) and Macon-East (9-1). The lone loss was a 6-1 setback to Bessemer Academy in the second game of the tournament for the Knights.
BCA began play in the annual Border Wars Tournament with a 3-2 win against Lee Scott Academy.
Tanner Still pitched five innings with four strikeouts while allowing three hits and two runs, although neither were earned.
“Tanner pitched great,” said Nicks. “He commanded the zone and kept their batters off balance.” Caleb Hopkins closed out the final two innings with four strikeouts.
“Caleb looked really good,” Nicks said. “We did a fantastic job of keeping their batters off balance.”
Offensively, Dillon Tallent was 2-for-2 with two runs while Brad Toxen continued his hot streak with an RBI double. Jacob Parker and Nick Suertefelipe both drove in runs.
“Overall, we played well,” Nicks said. “We controlled the things we can control and played the game one pitch at a time.”
Next was a 6-1 loss to Bessemer Academy.
“They had a solid pitcher who kept us off balance every at-bat,” BCA’s coach said. “He located his fastball and had a good breaking ball. We had a few miscues in the field that cost us runs. Our pitchers threw well, just did not get a lot of help from our defense.”
Jacob Parker threw two innings with two strikeouts with only one earned run. Mike Tuscano pitched well in relief, Nicks said.
“I was pleased with how Mike competed on the mound,” his coach said.
Tallent also threw an inning in relief with one strikeout.
On Saturday, BCA played twice defeating Monroe Academy 4-3 in its first game of the day.
The Knights took a 4-0 lead and then held on for the win.
“Monroe is a good team and they were the defending state champion in their league,” Nicks said.
Hopkins closed out the game in the bottom of the seventh inning after he had been brought in for the sixth inning as well. Tristen Green had started the game working five innings while scattering seven hits and striking out one.
“Both pitchers commanded the zone and kept their batters off balance,” Nicks said.
Suertefelipe was 1-for-2 with two RBI.
“We only had six hits, but it was enough for the win,” said Nicks.
In the second game Saturday and final one of the tournament, the Knights defeated Macon-East 9-1.
Brady Stewart pitched a complete game allowing five hits and one run while striking out nine.
“Brady looked really good on the mound,” Nicks said. “He is such a competitor and a bulldog on the mound.”
Offensively, BCA had 13 hits, including three doubles. Every player had at least one hit. Tallent had two hits while Tuscano had two hits with two RBI.
“Overall, it was a great game and weekend,” Nicks said. “The players really showed a lot of grit and competed in every aspect.”