Jordan Pandy, Correspondent (@ on Twitter)
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – North Florida Christian started the game out slow but had a big fourth inning to help them beat rival Maclay. Sophomore catcher JD Jerry had a strong showing on both defense and offense and broke the game open for NFC.
The first three innings of the game would see no hits from either team; the North Florida Christian Eagles (3-1, 2-0) had back-to-back quick innings to start the game, only three plate appearances each inning. NFC players were swinging early in the count and were lacking patience. A few pitching mistakes from Maclay (3-3, 0-1) and timely hitting helped the Eagles find their rhythm offensively.
“We just relaxed a little bit,” said NFC head coach Mike Posey. “The pitcher’s pitch count was getting up there a little bit, so we started looking at more pitches. We did a great job with two strikes – we had several two-strike at-bats and we worked the guy for walks. We just had to relax a little bit. Zero, zero in the fourth inning you get a little tight.”
After three walks and two players hit by pitches, JD Jerry eventually got to the plate with his team winning 2-0 and the bases loaded. Jerry sent a ball into left field – for the first hit of the game – that unloaded the bases and put him on 2nd. Jerry finished the game going 2-for-3 and also threw somebody out at 2nd base after a wild pitch.
The Eagles scored a combined 30 runs in their previous two games before tonight, but in this game it took them a while to heat up offensively. Mike Posey credited Maclay to his team’s early struggles.
“I think our offense is pretty good – we’ve been scoring some runs, but this was a better team today that we played,” said Posey.
Even though NFC came out on top, coach Posey still thinks the team has some areas to improve on early in the season.
“We have to work a little bit better on concentration at the plate,” said Posey. “I think we battled and fought with two strikes a lot, but I think we swing at pitches sometimes that weren’t in the strike zone – we just have to do a better job at that.”
Maclay will try to shake this one off in their next game as they face Godby at home on March 10th at 4PM. North Florida Christian plays again at home against Hamilton County on March 9th at 4PM. Both