CVA wins doubleheader, advances to second round
HARPERSVILLE—The Coosa Valley Academy Rebels defeated the Northside Methodist Academy Knights in the first of a playoff doubleheader by a score of 12-3.

The Rebels went on to eliminate the Knights in the second game of the doubleheader and will next travel to Pickens Academy on Thursday in the second round of the AISA baseball playoffs.

“We came out flat the first couple of innings,” CVA head coach Tyler Dent said. “Jake [Carter] threw strikes the whole game. I thought our approach at the plate was good the whole game. We probably haven’t hit the ball that well all year and our approach probably hasn’t been that great the whole year, but Jake competed the whole game and definitely gave us a chance to win.”

Jake Carter pitched a complete game and earned the win on the mound. Carter also went two for four at the plate, with a triple, a single and reaching base on an error.

The Rebels took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, but Northside battled back to take the lead by scoring three runs in the top of the third inning.

CVA didn’t lose their composure, coming back to regain the lead in the bottom half of the inning.

Niko Teofilo started the Rebels off with a single to center field. Garrett McMillan followed that with an infield single. Carter reached base on an error by third baseman Nick Manzella to load the bases. Allen Logan brought in two runs to tie it 3-3 with a single to right field. Bradley Harvell hit a sacrifice bunt to score pinch runner Grant Lovelady from third base to help the Rebels regain the lead, 4-3. Blake Gossett hit a double to center field to score another run. Tyler Hickman helped the team add one more by hitting a single up the middle of the infield to score Gossett.

CVA added insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning that effectively put the game out of reach for the Knights.

Logan led off for the Rebels with a double to the gap in right-center field. Landon Floyd got on first with a walk. Harvell hit a single through the gap between shortstop and third base to score Logan. Floyd later came around to score on a wild pitch. Hickman hit a grounder to deep shortstop and managed to beat the throw to first base and Harvell came in to score. Michael Mims followed that up with a triple to deep center field, scoring Hickman. Mims came home on a balk by the pitcher to make it 11-3. The Rebels added another run in the bottom of the sixth inning.

“We’re not going to hit home runs,” Dent said. “We’re going to play a lot of small ball, a lot of hit-and-runs, put a lot of guys in motion and we did. We executed our situations well. Later in the year, we started hitting the ball a lot better. We worked a lot the past couple weeks, especially on our approaches to the plate. I was pleased with the way the first game went, especially at the plate and the way Jake competed on the mound.”

Carter cruised through the last three innings by striking out two batters per inning. In fact, the left-handed pitcher ended the game by striking out the last two batters.

Dent said Carter managing to pitch better through the course of the game is nothing new.

“He’s been that way the whole year,” Dent said. “Usually it takes him a couple innings to get going, but if he throws the ball in the strike zone early in the count he’s going to be effective.”

Allen Logan pitched a complete-game shutout in the second game, while striking out eight batters.

Michael Mims went two for five at the plate with four RBIs. Garrett McMillan was one for four with two RBIs. Logan continued to do well at the plate in the second game, going two for four with an RBI.

Dent hopes that because his team faced some tougher opponents during the regular season, it will prepare the team to go far in the playoffs.

“To be honest, our schedule has been one heck of a schedule,” Dent said. “We’ve played a lot of AAA teams that are really better than us. I’ve tried to tell them we’ve weathered the storm. We went through the rough waters. If we just play as a team and stay with it, we’re going to be okay. We’re going to be there in the end.”

© 2013