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CCS scores 8 late to beat Gramercy

Community Christian School varsity baseball head coach Andy Jackson would prefer his Cyclones schedule their offensive outbursts earlier in games rather than later, but was happy to get an 11-3 victory over Gramercy Christian on Monday, April 29, in the first round of the Mid-Atlantic Christian Athletic Association 2-A playoffs.

The Cyclones erupted for eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to snap a 3-3 tie and advance to Friday’s semifinals with a 7-5 record. Community Christian, which finished second in the 2-A North Division behind New Bern Christian, will face the Mustangs (10-2) on Friday at Faith Christian in Goldsboro after New Bern Christian crushed Bethel Assembly Christian 10-0 on Monday. The championship and consolation games are set for Saturday at Faith Christian.

“I feel like our guys hung around and played enough defense to keep us where we had a chance to win it all the time,” Jackson said. “I would like for us to play a little better the first; we had a couple errors in the first inning. But all in all, I think we played pretty well. We had a good sixth inning.”

CCS collected seven hits, drew seven walks and benefited from seven errors by Gramercy Christian (2-9) of Newport.

“Yeah, I think we took advantage of what they would give. Our kids did a pretty good job of that,” said Jackson, while pointing out a Cyclones’ blunder on the base paths that may have cost them a run.

“That could have been a big, big deal if we had a chance to get him in,” he said.

Eighth grader Tanner Pierce led CCS with a 2-for-3 showing at the plate, including two runs scored and an RBI. Freshman Jack Beamon was 1 for 4 with a double and two runs scored while freshman Garland Robbins also had an RBI.

Starting pitcher Colby Barnhill was solid in his five innings of work. He gave up three runs, but only one earned, on four hits and a walk while striking out six. Pierce got the win after taking over in the top of the sixth with the score tied 3-3. Gramercy Christian nicked Barnhill for two runs in the top of the first but the Cyclones answered for three in the bottom of the inning. 

Jackson said he was especially happy with his battery managing Gramercy base runners. The Cyclones threw out two would-be stealers while CCS pitchers picked off three Warriors, including the final out.

Josh Varnell pitched a scoreless inning as well as the Cycs shuffled their arms in preparation for Friday’s showdown with New Bern. Jackson said that sophomore Tyler Spivey will likely get the ball.

“We’ll go with Tyler on Friday and hopefully we can keep them down to where we can have a chance to win this thing,” said Jackson.

Community Christian certainly has momentum on its side heading into the final weekend.

“We’ve won the last four ball games we’ve played, so ending the year on a good note,” said Jackson.