H.S. BASEBALL | Airport 10, James Island 1

Baseball: Airport Eagles dominate from outset

ainelson@thestate.comMay 8, 2013 

With a 10-1 defeat of James Island at home on Wednesday, Airport advanced to the Class 3A Lower State finals.

“It was a lot of fun,” coach Tim Perry said of the outing, which the Eagles dominated from the beginning.

“Tonight, I really feel like we grinded early. This was the first time all season that our energy was incredible. … What was so exciting for me was that these guys were so excited.”

The Airport offense was firing on all cylinders from the start.

“The first inning, we got things rolling. We didn’t score, but we got things rolling.”

Airport (24-3) scored in every inning thereafter.

James Island used four pitchers but could not keep the Eagles off the bags.

Up to bat with runners on the corners and two outs against them, Forest Arnold put the Eagles on the board in the second with a two-run triple that dropped just feet shy of the fence and beyond the reach of the Trojans’ diving right fielder. Arnold was left stranded when the Trojans fielded a pop-up to close the inning on the next at-bat.

Austin Hawley added an RBI single in the third, and Casey Parker smacked an RBI double down the third baseline in the fourth.

The Eagles’ defense allowing two base hits in the first four innings.

“There’s no doubt, there’s a comfort level when we get ahead five or six runs, especially with those guys on the mound, we feel like we can win,” said Perry of the Eagles’ confidence in its pitching staff. Caleb Talton led the Eagles on the mound with five strikeouts and improved to 7-0 on the season.

Airport more than doubled its lead for good measure in the bottom of the fifth. The Eagles posted five runs on four hits with the help of two walks and two errors by the Trojans.

Airport led off with back-to-back singles before Josh Tucker hit an RBI double deep to centerfield. A walk loaded the bases, and the Eagles scored another run as the Trojans chased down a ball in the backstop. Then Arnold was walked, bringing Parker back to the plate. On the fourth pitch of the at-bat, the Eagles got another run across while James Island again struggled to field a ball behind home plate.

Parker added a two-run single to set the score 9-0.

James Island avoided the shutout when starting pitcher Tyler Weekley put up an RBI single in the sixth.

W: Caleb Talton (7-0). L: Tyler Weekley. Hitters: Casey Parker (A) 2-3, 3 RBI; Austin Hawley (A) 2-3, RBI; Josh Tucker (A) 2-4, 2 RBI; Hunter Mixson (J) 2-3.

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