Chargers force game three in title series
The Chargers suffered a 3-1 loss in the series opener despite Davis’ solid effort on the mound in his third complete game in a week.
Davis, who recorded a pair of complete-game victories in leading the Chargers past rival Coosa Valley in a AISA Class 1A semifinal series, allowed three runs, including two earned runs, on seven hits with three strikeouts without issuing a walk in the series opener.
Davis also finished 1-for-2 at the plate with a double and drove in the Chargers’ lone run in the game.
Joiner finished 1-for-3 at the plate with a double. Reither went 1-for-3 and scored one run. Auston Wingard finished 1-for-3 at the plate, while Payne went 1-for-4 at the plate.
The lead-off batter in the game for Jackson Academy came around to score to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Cornerstone Christian tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning. Reither led off the inning with a single to right field before advancing to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Joiner. Reither came around to score on an RBI double by Davis.
The Eagles’ lead-off batter in the top of the fourth inning came around to score to give Jackson Academy a 2-1 lead. Jackson Academy’s lead-off batter in the top of the fifth inning scored to push the Eagles’ lead to 3-1.
Cornerstone Christian had several chances to put up a big inning but couldn’t capitalize with base runners in scoring position.
Payne led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single before Lodge and Tim Warren each reached on a walk to load up the bases. However, a groundout to first base by Reither left all three base runners stranded.
The Chargers left the bases loaded again in the bottom of the sixth inning. A pair of singles by Wingard and Martin, sandwiched with a walk issued to Lodge, put runners in scoring position with one out before Warren and Reither ended the inning with back-to-back strikeouts.
Joiner led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a double off the right-field wall, but the Chargers couldn’t take advantage of the lead-off hit with Wingard ending the game looking at a pitch on the corner of the plate for a strikeout.
Smith said Warren, a sophomore, will make his eighth start of the season in the deciding third game of the series.
“(Warren) will do whatever it takes,” Smith said.