Rebels start the season in dominant fashion

Published 9:12 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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It was opening day for baseball in LaFayette as Chambers Academy hosted its rival Springwood Wildcats. The Rebels came away with a dominant 11-0 win to kick off their season on a high note. 

The game looked like a defensive battle through 2.5 innings, but Chambers Academy exploded on offense in the bottom of the third. 

Eli Pritchard got the party started for the Rebels on a one-run single. Kyle Hand then drove in Pritchard with a single. Grey Hayley kept the inning going as he drove Hand and Kole Baker in with a single to give Chambers Academy a 4-0 lead. 

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Eli Whorton added on to the early lead as he drove Hayley in on a single. A balk in the next at-bat scored Drew Sheppard, and then Luke Tarver scored on a passed ball to give the Rebels a 7-0 lead heading into the fourth inning. 

Both offenses were held in check until the bottom of the fifth inning when Chambers Academy picked up where it left off. Cam Gooden walked with the bases loaded to score Sheppard. Then, a balk scored Tarver. 

Pitching continued to be out of control for Springwood as two walks with the bases loaded ended the game in the bottom of the fifth inning by the mercy rule. 

Colt Pearson got the start on the mound for Springwood. Pearson started hot, allowing no runs in his first two innings of work, but things fell apart for Pearson in the bottom of the third inning as he allowed six earned runs. In total, Pearson walked three and allowed five hits and received the loss. 

Austin Hanvey came in to relieve Pearson and allowed four earned runs in 1 ⅓ innings of work. Hanvey walked seven batters and allowed three hits. 

Chambers Academy used an array of pitchers in the matchup as coach Dillon NeSmith looked to get the team’s arms warmed for the season ahead. Grant Jones got the start on the mound. Jones combined with Hayden Hendrix, Cam Gooden and Jonathan Caulfield to allow just two hits, no runs and eight strikeouts. 

Springwood’s bats were cold to start the season as Pearson and Hanvey were the only two to produce a hit. The team was a combined 2-for-15 at the plate. 

Hayley and Whorton were the best offensive weapons for Chambers Academy on Tuesday. Hayley went 2-for-3 with two RBIs while Whorton went 2-for-3 with one RBI. 

The win puts Chambers Academy at 1-0 to start the season while the Wildcats sit at 0-1. Up next for Springwood is a matchup against Fort Dale Academy on Thursday at home. Up next for the Rebels is a matchup against Hooper Academy at home on Feb. 27.