Flames burn Hampton with late rally

Published 1:12 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2023

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Breaking a two-all tie, the Fellowship Christian Academy Flames scored seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings to pull away to a 9-4 victory over the Hampton Bulldogs on Monday night at Scotty Bunton Field.
“FCA’s second, third and fourth hitters are as good as any we have faced,” Bulldogs head coach Nicholas Perkins said. “We have been up and down all season. We feel we can beat anyone in any game but we can also lose to anyone.”
The Flames hitters raked 15 hits with Carson Shah and Evan Denton each collecting three hits and John Melendez had a two-for-three day as well.
Hampton (7-14 overall) took a one run lead in the last of the first with Chance Point walking and stealing second and third and scoring on a ground ball off the bat of freshman Jaden Kuhn. The Flames answered in the top of the third with a pair of runs as leadoff hitter Keith Austin had an infield single and Shah’s single plated Austin and Melendez then hit a drive to deep center field for a double that made it a 2-1 game.
The Bulldogs tied the score in the fourth on a pair of walks to Josh Kiehn and Jamie Turbyfill and a daring double steal that saw Kiehn score on the front end of the play. Turbyfill took a long lead off first base daring Denton to throw him out, while Flames coaches told him to charge at Turbyfill.
When he did Turbyfill broke for second base and Kiehn scored to tie the game at 2-2.
In the fifth FCA broke through for four runs on three hits but a big infield error helped the rally along, allowing a run to score and putting Flames runners on the corners. A wild pitch scored the second run and an RBI hit from Denton brought across another for a 5-2 FCA lead. Ebeneezer Vernot’s single made it a 6-2 contest.
Hampton answered with a run in the last of the fifth with Kuhn collecting a single and pinch runner Gabriel Lyons scoring on a wild pitch. FCA got an RBI hit from Greg Vissar and a two run single from Melendez for a 9-3 Flames advantage.
The ‘Dogs started a rally in the seventh with Noah Nichols driving in a run with a single but Colton Ables came on in relief of Denton and struck out both Kiehn and Tuff Robinson to close out the win.
FCA 9-4
FCA 002 043 0 – 9 15 0
Hampton 100 110 1 – 4 5 2
W – Denton L – Whitson
DP – Hampton 2. 3B – Greenwell. 2B – Melendez, Shah

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