SCA evens record on diamond

Published 10:07 pm Friday, April 8, 2016

The Suffolk Christian Academy baseball team has now followed up the losses in its first two games with wins in the next two.

The Knights improved to .500 with a 9-5 victory over visiting Broadwater Academy on Thursday.

Suffolk Christian Academy sophomore Patrick Driggers throws a pitch on Thursday during the Knights' 9-5 victory over visiting Broadwater Academy.

Suffolk Christian Academy sophomore Patrick Driggers throws a pitch on Thursday during the Knights’ 9-5 victory over visiting Broadwater Academy.

“They are continuing to improve,” SCA assistant coach Scott Cornette said of the Knights.

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Regarding the quality of team that Broadwater has, “we weren’t really sure what to expect,” Cornette said, as Suffolk Christian had heard conflicting reports.

But the Vikings made it a competitive game. After the Knights took a 4-0 lead in the second inning, Broadwater scored three in the third.

Cornette said that he and the coaching staff told the Knights to keep playing the game that they know how to play, and they went on to score three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth, going up 9-3.

For the game, SCA senior Michael Cornette was 3-for-4 with three singles, two runs batted in, two runs scored and a stolen base.

“He actually reached base every time,” Scott Cornette said. “He did reach on an error one time.”

Suffolk Christian eighth-grader Alex Feeney was 2-for-4 with two singles, one RBI and two runs scored, while sophomore Patrick Driggers generated a single, a triple, two RBIs, and he scored a run.

It was his triple that brought home two runners in the bottom of the sixth.

“That was at a crucial point in the game,” Scott Cornette said. “Those two runs were super-important for insurance purposes.”

They kept the game from being a two-run contest when the Vikings scored two runs in the seventh.

Broadwater was a threat to score all the way to the end of the game, as the Knights got the last out while the bases were loaded.

“We were probably one batter away from bringing in Michael Cornette to close out the game,” Scott Cornette said, referring to one of SCA’s starting pitchers who had not thrown in the game.

But freshman Austin Aydlett kept that from being necessary. With two outs on the board in the top of the seventh, a sharply hit ground ball came to him near first base. He was not able to handle it cleanly, but he did not give up on the play.

“He didn’t panic, and so he was still able to recover and to get the out,” Scott Cornette said.

There were other highlights on defense for the Knights, but Cornette indicated that there was still room for improvement.

Suffolk Christian finished with three errors, and one led to two runs for the Vikings.

The Knights used two pitchers, starting with Feeney, who threw for three innings.

“That was his first action he’s seen on the mound this year,” Cornette said, noting that Feeney pitched well and got the win.

He threw five strikeouts, gave up three runs, but only one was earned, and he allowed four walks.

Driggers pitched from the fourth inning through the seventh.

“He did well,” Cornette said. “He only had two strikeouts, but he only walked two batters, as well,” and he gave up two earned runs.

The Vikings produced six hits on the day compared to the Knights’ nine, and Broadwater also committed six errors.

SCA (2-2) will host Summit Christian Academy on Tuesday. In the two teams’ first meeting this season, the Eagles defeated the visiting Knights 7-1.

“It was not indicative of the type of team that we strive to be,” Cornette said of that game. “We want to be a very fundamental team.”

The plan is to use Tuesday’s game as a test to see how the Knights have progressed since the first meeting on March 24.

“Hopefully, we’ll have some marked improvement,” Cornette said.