Trojans cage Bengals
After a somewhat disappointing performance in its spring break tournament, the Wesleyan Christian Academy baseball team roared back to life in the opener of its first series back home.
Backed by strong pitching by Riley Isenhour, the Trojans hit the ball well, scoring five runs through three innings before ending it with five in the fifth, to beat Greensboro Day 10-0 in five innings Tuesday at Ed Price Field.
“It was a good win,” coach Scott Davis said. “We went down to South Carolina and played four really, really tough ballgames against some outstanding competition. We got exposed in some areas we needed to improve upon.
“So, coming back from that into conference play, we really wanted to come out and assert ourselves — which we did offensively, defensively and on the mound. It was a good game to get conference rolling again — a good performance. So, we feel good about today.”
Wesleyan finished with 14 hits, keyed by Hayden Manuel’s three hits and Weston Wilson’s two home runs. Wilson got things started in the first, hitting deep in the gap in left-center. That scored Ryan Clinch easily, and Wilson scored without hesitation when GDS missed the cut-off man.
The Trojans (10-4, 3-0 PACIS 3A) then added three in the third, highlighted by Wilson’s two-run home run over the fence in left. They finished it off with five in the fifth. Beau Myers finished with two RBIs for the game, while Clinch, Greg White and Lane Kowalski each had two hits.
“We got started swinging the bat hot early,” said Wilson, a senior shortstop and Clemson signee. “We swung it OK in our spring break tournament, but we had some defensive problems. So, that kind of gave us some confidence right there. ...
“I kind of struggled during the spring break tournament last week. So, it was good to come out, see pitches early and take advantage of them.”
Isenhour, a freshman lefty, picked up the win in his first varsity decision. He allowed just two hits, one in the second and one in the fourth, and walked none, as only three Bengals reached base in the game. Jacob Dubs took the loss in 4 1/3 innings for Greensboro Day (5-7, 0-3).
Coming off its performance in the South Carolina Diamond Invitational near Columbia, S.C., Wesleyan, which is tied for second with High Point Christian in the NCISAA 3A rankings, was eager to get back to work in conference play with the playoffs (starting May 11) not too far away.
“I feel like we have a state championship-type ballclub,” Wilson said. “Everything’s starting to come together. I think last week was a good learning experience for some us — getting through tough times, battling adversity. So, I think things are coming together.
“Going 1-3 is kind of difficult to take when you feel like you’re one of the best teams in the state and you play bad down there. But it was a big motivation coming back, and hopefully we’ll get the sweep this week and keep moving through our conference.”
The teams play the second game of their three-game series Thursday at 6 p.m. at Ed Price Field before finishing Friday at 5 p.m. in Greensboro.