Chargers swept by Patrician Academy

By Chris Megginson | For the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – Cornerstone Christian came up two runs shy of playing another day, being swept by Patrician Academy to open the AISA Class A playoffs April 21.

The Patrician Saints took the first game 11-5 and won the night cap 8-6 to end the Chargers’ season with a 10-12 record.

“I thought the kids played well today. They really tried hard and wanted to move on,” said CCS head coach Tim Smith. “We had our share of errors, and it was mainly from trying too hard.”

The Chargers had eight defensive errors in the first game, including a couple in the top of the sixth inning give Patrician four runs to make it 11-5. The Saints started the game with three runs in the first, but Cornerstone pushed two across in the bottom of the inning. CCS tied it a t five, but Patrician led 7-5 after the fifth.

Tanner Faulkner had three hits to lead CCS in the first game. Logan Tucker also had a pair of hits.

Ethan Johnson went the distance on the mound in the first game, allowing 10 hits.

“We hit the ball really well,” Smith said. “Ethan really pitched well. Yes, we gave up 11 runs, but not all were his.”

Similar to the first game, Patrician put up a three-spot in the first. Trailing 4-2, Cornerstone was able to tie the game at 4-4. Patrician regained the lead, 6-2, and then a pair of errors in the bottom of the sixth pushed the Saints’ lead to 8-4.

Tucker hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to pull within two runs, 8-6, followed by a Johnson double off the top of the fence. The Chargers ended the game with the tying runs on base.

Faulkner, who pitched a no-hitter April 11 to clinch the second-seed in area play, received the start in Game 2, pitching six innings.

The losses not only end the Chargers’ season, but a 19-year run for Smith at Cornerstone. During the Chargers’ 17 years of varsity baseball, CCS has made the playoffs 12 seasons and won six area titles, including the previous four seasons (2013-2016).

Smith, who has served as athletic director at Cornerstone since the school began, and is the current headmaster, has been hired at Evangel Christian School in Alabaster. He will begin his tenure at Evangel on June 1 as athletic director, football coach and baseball coach.

“It was very emotional after the game was over,” said Smith, who had former players and family in attendance. “It’s been a great run. It’s been my life for 19 years. God has started me on a new journey. I am excited to see what God has in store for the future.”