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Baseball Drops First Round Series to Hebron in Two Games

MACON, Ga. – The no. 7 seeded FPD varsity baseball team (17-6) dropped its opening round GHSA Class-A State Tournament series to the no. 10 seeded Hebron Christian Lions (18-8) on Friday night, stumbling in Game One, 4-2, before being eliminated in Game Two, 9-7.

The Lions move on to play the winner of the Providence-Stratford series on May 6-7. The loss brings an end to the 2015 season for the Vikings.

“Sometimes in life things just don’t go your way,” FPD head coach Denny Bryant said. “It seemed like from the beginning we were playing a pitch down and a run down. Hats off to Hebron and Coach (Josh) Carter. They have a really good baseball team and they showed it today.”

“I’m proud of our guys, though,” Bryant added. “They fought to the very end and they have nothing to be ashamed of.”

In Game One, the Lions came roaring out of the gate when Tyler Calvert led off the game with a solo home run to left field for an early 1-0 Hebron lead.

“They set the tone early,” Bryant said.

But the Vikings took the lead back briefly, scoring two runs in the second and third innings, highlighted by a Marshall Lyles home run down the left field line that stayed just fair to tie the contest at 1-1.

“That was a huge hit by Marshall,” Bryant said. “That got us some momentum back for sure.”

But as any playoff series goes, momentum shifts in an instant.

The Lions scored the final two runs of the game in the top of the fifth inning when Calvert doubled home Steven Casey and Smith Bogdan.

Ben Coker picked up the win for Lions on the mound, tossing a complete game while allowing three hits and two runs while striking out eight.

FPD’s Austin Cox (7-2) finished with the loss, despite an impressive complete game effort as well. The southpaw struck out 10 in his last game as a Viking.

Game Two saw the Lions playing as the home team with a chance to close out the series.

But the Vikings appeared motivated from the beginning.

FPD jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Will McCormick singled home Marshall Lyles.

But the Lions answered back in the second inning plating two runs on a Viking infield error and a bases loaded walk.

“It seemed like the momentum shifted all day long,” Bryant said. “We just couldn’t hold on to it when we had it.”

Hebron added three more runs in the third inning to go up by a 5-2 score.

The Vikings wouldn’t back down, however.

In the fourth inning, FPD scored three runs, the tying run coming from a Gavin Bloodworth single that plated Lyles.

“I thought it showed a lot of guts by our guys to keep fighting back like they did in this series,” Bryant said. “It would have been really easy to throw in the towel, but we didn’t. We are proud of them for that.”

The Lions answered the Vikings in the bottom half of the fourth, scoring twice to take a 7-5 lead. Hebron would never relinquish the lead the rest of the game.

The Lions scored two more runs in the fifth and held off a late Viking surge for the series win.

Jake Hershman picked up the win on the mound in Game Two for Lions while Kevin Moreau (5-1) was tagged with the loss.

FPD graduates six seniors from this years’ squad: Cox, Moreau, Lyles, Sam Jones, Tyler Stubbs and John Gordon Thigpin.

“If it weren’t for our seniors, we wouldn’t be in the playoffs,” Bryant said. “They have been a pleasure to coach and we wish them well.”

The FPD Athletic Department sincerely thanks the Class of 2015 for their hard work and dedication to the FPD Baseball program over the years.

Check www.fpdvikings.com for updates on the baseball team during the offseason leading up to the 2016 season.

The First Presbyterian Day School Department of Athletics strives to build the student athlete both in the playing arena and the classroom while upholding the school’s mission statement to educate and equip students to change the world for God’s glory. For more information, visit www.fpdvikings.com and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by following the Vikings on Twitter at @FPDVikingSports.

BOX SCORES:

GAME ONE
HEBRON CHRISTIAN 4, FPD 2

HBC 100-120-0 — 4-6-4
FPD 011-000-0 — 2-30

WP: Ben Coker. LP: Austin Cox (7-2).

2B: HBC – Tyler Calvert; FPD – Tyler Stubbs

HR: HBC – Calvert, Parker Runnels; FPD – Marshall Lyles

Game notes: Cox had 10 strikeouts for FPD … Coker had strikeouts for Hebron … Calvert was 2-for-4 with three RBI’s for Hebron … Stubs was 1-for-3 for FPD.

GAME TWO
HEBRON CHRISTIAN 9, FPD 7
(Hebron wins the series 2-0)

FPD 101-302-0 — 7-7-3
HBC 023-220-x — 9-11-4

WP: Jake Hershman. LP: Kevin Moreau (5-1).

2B: FPD – Will McCormick, Gavin Bloodworth; HBC – Parker Runnels, Caleb Martin, Spence Johns.

Game notes: Johns and Martin each had two RBI for Hebron … Bloodworth had two RBI for FPD .. Lyles scored three runs for FPD … McCormick was 2-for-4 with two RBI for FPD … Hebron walked six times.

Records: FPD 17-6, Hebron Christian 18-8.