MCA upends Longhorns

Published 11:05 pm Friday, March 20, 2009

LINDEN — Marengo Academy’s drive toward finishing unblemished in region play came to a screeching halt Friday when Meadowview Christian (2-4) pulled out a 6-4 win over the Longhorns (10-4).

“Our main goal was to go undefeated in the region,” Marengo Academy head coach Jonathan Lindsey said. “Meadowview took that from us.”

The big blow in the game came in the top of the seventh inning when Raymond Eggert launched a two-run home run to break a 4-4 tie and and give the Trojans an opportunity to upset the No. 3 team in the state.

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“It was a great effort,” Meadowview coach Rick Jackson said. “We felt like we’ve been kind of behind getting things ready. Today was probably the best baseball game we played.”

Pitcher Marc Englatt returned to the mound in the seventh inning to continue his bid for the complete game win.

The hurler proved slightly erratic early, beaning the Longhorn leadoff man before surrendering a one-out single to Chris Whitaker. With runners on the corners and one out, Marengo watched as the fourth and fifth hitters in its lineup go down to end the game.

“That’s where we want to be,” Lindsey said. “That’s where we want to be all the time, in the middle of our lineup and we just didn’t get it done.”

“I don’t know how much I can say about Marc pitching the whole game,” Jackson said of the complete game effort Englatt produced.

The Longhorns hit Englatt early, jumping on top with a two-run first inning before adding another in the second. The three-run lead stood until the fourth when the Trojans finally broke through for their first run of the game.

In the fifth, MCA struck again when Randal Hamilton ripped a two-RBI double to tie the game 3-3. Englatt gave his team its first lead of the game when he dropped down a sacrifice bunt to push the across the go-ahead run.

“They’ve got a quality ball team and they fought harder than us,” Lindsey said of Meadowview. “They came here wanting to beat us and we didn’t want it bad enough.”

Marengo responded with one run in the sixth to tie the game before the Eggert shot sealed the victory in the ensuing at-bat.

“Right now at this point in the season, it’s huge,” Jackson said of his team’s victory over the defending Class AA state champions. “We have just not been making the routine plays. They felt confident when they walked in here today. They knew they could win.”

The loss is the first game MA has dropped to an AISA team this season. Each of its previous three defeats came against teams from Georgia in the Border Wars Tournament at Glenwood.

“It all comes down to pride,” Lindsey said. “Right now we have got to have some serious gutchecks on our team.”

Whitaker pitched the full seven innings for the Longhorns, who travel to Glenwood for a double-header today. The Shelton State signee scattered nine hits, issued six walks and hit one batter while striking out 10.

“Chris didn’t have his best stuff today,” Lindsey said. “And we didn’t help him out offensively.”

Marengo tallied eight hits on the afternoon. Wood Collins led the way, going 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs. Whitaker went 2-for-4. Beau Digmon went 1-for-2 with a home run and an RBI. Jesse Morgan went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Clayton Crocker went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Christopher Sammons went 1-for-4 with a run scored.