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April 9, 2013

Open Bible defeats Highland, 17-1

VALDOSTA — Open Bible’s baseball team earned a convincing 17-1 win over Highland Christian on Monday.

The game lasted just three innings, due to the mercy rule.

“A win is always a good thing,” Open Bible head coach John Joye said. “We had some timely hits today behind some walks.”

Open Bible is now 12-1 this season.

Highland Christian scored the game’s first run in the top of the first inning. With two outs, Casey Conn singled, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single to center by Jontae Leggett, which gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

But then Open Bible came to bat in the bottom of the first, and exploded for 12 runs. Colton Jenkins reached on a throwing error, went all the way to third on the error and scored on a single by John William Worsley. After Nathan Infante was hit by a pitch, Caleb Bowden reached on an error, and Worsley scored. Nathan Infante and Bowden executed a double steal, then Matthew Infante drove them both in with a single, giving the Warriors a 4-1 lead. Courtesy runner Samuel Harrell went to third on Holden Highsmith’s single, and Highsmith advanced to second on the throw.

Harrell scored on a fielder’s choice ground ball by Logan Ruiz. Marlon Barerra reached on an error, then Jenkins walked to load the bases. Patrick Eason’s ground ball was misplayed, and Ruiz scored. Worsley followed with a two-run double, scoring Barerra and Jenkins and making it 9-1. Nathan Infante singled, scoring Eason and Worsley. Bowden ripped a double off of the fence in right field, moving Nathan Infante to third. Matthew Infante hit a sacrifice fly to center field, and his brother tagged up and scored. That increased Open Bible’s lead to 12-1.

Open Bible put five more runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second. Consecutive walks to Ruiz, Barerra and Jenkins loaded the bases. Luke Hannon also walked, scoring Ruiz. Andrew Allen singled to right, and Barerra scored. Eddy Garcia drew another bases loaded walk, bringing home Jenkins. Then Cole Thornton and Ruiz were hit by pitches, scoring Hannon and Allen and giving the Warriors a 17-1 lead.

Jenkins held Highland Christian scoreless in the top of the third, and because the Warriors were leading by more than 15 runs, the game was called.

Once Open Bible got a big lead, the coaches put in the team’s reserves and let them get some playing time.

“The great thing is everybody got to play today. We were able to get everybody in the game, in a three-inning game. That’s how you make your team better. It’s hard to get better sitting on the bench,” Joye said. “Where we can, and when we can, we try to get everybody on the field, and we were able to do that today.”

Worsley led the Warriors with three hits. Worsley and Matthew Infante had three RBIs each. Jenkins scored three runs and Ruiz had two runs.

Jenkins was the winning pitcher for the Warriors. He allowed one run and three hits and struck out six.

Today, Open Bible will host Appling Christian at 4 p.m. in a showdown between two of the top teams in the Georgia Christian Athletic Association. Appling handed the Warriors their only loss of the season on March 29 in Baxley.

“(Today) will be the test,” Joye said. “We’ll make the playoffs regardless, but it sure would be nice going in No. 1, not No. 2. ... We lost to them the first time, but they were better than us that day. (In this game) the little mistakes have to go away.”

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