Lions baseball leapt by Bessemer Academy

By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter

BESSEMER — Zack Smith’s RBI single in the bottom of the fourth put Bessemer Academy up by one, and Rebel pitchers shut down the Kingwood Christian Academy bats over the final three innings as Bessemer Academy took the 7-4 win in AISA varsity baseball Mar. 13.

Smith drove in Brodie Medders to put the Rebels on top 5-4. Bessemer Academy starting pitcher Justyn Barnes then neutralized the Lions in the fifth before handing things over to Lucas Vining, who pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

The opening inning seemed to foreshadow an offensive shootout, with each team plating three runs. Kingwood Christian’s Shiloh West drove in Dillon Calhoun and Rivers Chamblee with a two-RBI single to highlight the Lions’ bats in the top of the first before Bessemer Academy came back to knot the score in the bottom of the inning.

The Rebels plated one in the bottom of the second to go up 4-3. Kingwood Christian responded in the top of the third when Josh Wright knocked in Buddy Kittrell. The contest stayed at 4-all until Smith singled in Medders, followed by three shutout innings from Barnes and Vining.

“We didn’t really capitalize when we had base runners on and in scoring position,” said Kingwood Christian head coach Andrew Pearce. “And on defense we just made a couple of errors in the wrong places and they went up (in the fourth) and we couldn’t come back.”

The loss dropped the Lions to 2-10 on the year, though brighter days seem to be ahead for Pearce and his squad.

“It’s been rough toward the beginning of the season but this was one of our better games,” he said. “(It) seems like we’re settling down as a team. I’m getting some guys that were injured back and defense is getting better so I’m looking forward to the middle half to the rest of the season as the guys grow as a team.”

Calhoun took the loss in his complete-game effort.

Offensively for Kingwood Christian, West led the way with his 2-for-4, two-RBI performance. Josh Wright drove in a run of his own while Montez Haynes and Bradley Martin each went 2-for-4.

Calhoun, Chamblee, Kittrell and Charlie Crepps scored a run apiece for the Lions.