In a rematch of the 2013 Class 3A championship, host A.C. Flora defeated Airport, 11-7 on Monday, the opening day of the Forest Acres Classic.
The Falcons’ Madison Stokes hit a three-run triple at the top of the fifth and a 3-RBI double in the seventh to secure the win.
The game had been tied at 5 after both teams posted three runs in the fourth.
In the top of the fourth, Falcons Josh Hernandez and Sam Anderson both were walked. When the umpire called Flora’s Coleman Pope safe on what Airport coach Tim Perry believed was an Eagles double play, Perry erupted and was tossed from the game. When action resumed, the Falcons punctuated the episode with a two-run double from Stokes that put the Falcons up 4-2 with one out. Flora closed the inning with a 5-2 lead.
Never miss a local story.
On the other side of the inning, Josh Wilson’s line drive past first drove in two runs, and Jacob Shirey’s sacrifice fly sent Wilson across to tie the score.
Two hits in the second inning, with third-baseman Donald Gillespie driving in two runs, had helped the Falcons surmount an early two-run deficit.
The Eagles’ defense sat Flora quickly in the first inning. With Will Loving getting the start, the Falcons began a long night of pitching troubles. The Falcons gave up a leadoff walk, and hit Eagles pitcher Austin Hawley to send him to first. Coach Andy Hallett then called Wills Chapman to the mound. On Chapman’s first pitch, Caleb Morris smacked a line drive to the shortstop, and the Falcons turned a double play to escape.
In the bottom of the second, Will Martin took a base after he was hit by pitch, escaped a rundown to take second, and advanced to third on a passed ball. Zach Feaster drove him in to put the Eagles on the board. Then, Shirey hit a line-drive double over the mound and, with a Falcons error in centerfield, drove in a second run.
The Falcons stormed back in the third, when Hawley walked Stokes, and Everett Eynon hit fly ball that fell inside the third-base line to bring up clean-up hitter Donald Gillespie with runners on second and third. Gillespie doubled into the right-field fence to drive in the tying runs.
Flora third baseman/pitcher Donald Gillespie earned credit for the win on the mound.