LAMP pulls away late to beat Alabama Christian
With a "helmet salute" LAMP’s Jay Taylor (right) is greeted by Taylor Watson (34) and Jalen Spraggins (2) after Taylor’s solo home run in the second inning. (Staff Photo)
For five innings, Alabama Christian Academy and LAMP were locked in a rare pitcher’s duel.
Only LAMP’s side of the duel would hold.
Three pitchers combined to limit ACA to just four hits in a LAMP 8-1 victory at Paterson Field on Tuesday in a warm-up game for Area play later in the week.
“It’s kind of weird,” LAMP coach Rocky Smith said. “We are both trying to win a big game today but we also have to consider our Area games this weekend. We wanted to give our top pitchers some innings and we got more than we expected.”
Bryan Young, William Brooks and Austin White held serve in a tight game. ACA’s Ryan Johnson did the same through five innings with the one exception, a solo home run hit by Jay Taylor.
“He gave me an inside, low fastball,” Taylor said of his first career homer. “That’s where I like it.”
The one-run lead held up for the Tigers until they put up seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. It all started with Anthony Todd’s double, his first of two hits in the inning.
“It was a great game until it got away from us,” ACA coach Don Gilliam said. “We make four errors in that inning and you can’t do that against a great team. They took advantage of it and we couldn’t make up the difference.”
Following Todd’s double, Miller Norman reached on an ACA error and later stole second. White followed with a suicide squeeze to score Todd. Young singled in two more runs. Todd had his second hit of the inning, a triple that scored another run.
The win looked eerily similar to that of a year ago when LAMP came back from the Gulf Coast Classic and played one of its best games of the year against one of its biggest rivals.
“Last year, we came back and played ACA on a Monday and won, 10-0,” Smith said. “We played pretty well in Gulf Shores last year and pretty well this year and I think that gave us a boost. It’s a combination of things. ACA has always been a big rivalry. They’ve got a great team and I think our guys were ready to play.”
Gilliam said his team will shake off the loss and get ready for a date with Montgomery Catholic.
“We can’t dwell on it,” he said. “We have to get ready for an important series against Catholic.”
Todd had three hits in the game while Taylor added two hits. Chase Davis had a triple and run scored for ACA.
The Eagles (10-3) travel across town to face Catholic on Thursday while LAMP (11-5) entertains Montevallo.
In the junior varsity game, ACA got a strong pitching performance from Brandon Ritter in a 6-3 victory over LAMP. The Eagles scored four runs on just two hits in the first inning.
Danny Madison had two hits and two runs for the Eagles. Daniel Johnson had an RBI single for LAMP.
Chandler Taylor picked up the save for ACA.