Ethan Dage gave the Conquerors some insurance with a home run while Dylan Simmons and Justin Parrish combined for a one-hitter as the TCA Conquerors defeated 3A powerhouse North Florida Christian Thursday afternoon in our state's capital.
Leading off the top of the sixth, Dage launched the 0-1 pitched over the center-field fence for a solo home run (2) to make the score 5-1. The bomb was Dage's second hit, run, and RBI of the game as he finished the day 2 for 2 with a walk, a home run, two runs scored, and two runs driven in.
Meanwhile, Simmons (W: 4-1, 3.76 ERA) allowed one earned run on no hits through 4 2/3 innings. He walked five, including four in the bottom of the fifth, but made the pitches when necessary to stay out of trouble. NFC scored on a ground ball fielder's choice after the first three walks in the fifth to make the score 4-1, but Parrish (S: 1) entered with two outs and the bases loaded (tying runs on base) and got a fly ball to Dage in right to strand all three runners and escape the inning without further damage.
Parrish then pitched the final two innings, allowing one unearned run on one hit, to earn the save. NFC got that unearned run on a ground ball from Carson Neal in the seventh that scored Josiah Miller, who singled to open the final frame and break up the combined no-hit attempt ; Miller advanced to second on an error and to third on a ground ball before scoring. Parrish then struck out the final batter to end the game.
Trinity got two runs in each of the second and fourth innings. In the second, Kishon Frett's RBI single scored Tyson Tucker (Simmons's courtesy runner after an error), and Dage followed with a base hit that brought home Matt Crump (walk). Bryan Muniz then laced a two-run single in the fourth to score Dage and Jared Donald, both of whom walked. All this came off North Florida Christian's potential MLB prospect Brandon Walker (L: 5-1, 1.07), who entered the game with a 0.59 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 35.1 innings pitched.
Muniz was 1 for 4 with 2 RBI, and Crump doubled and walked in four plate appearances. Donald reached base three times (H, 2 BB), and Tucker, Dawson Fietsam, Dylan Simmons, and Justin Simmons also hit safely for the Conquerors.
Trinity (15-7-1) will play at district opponent Interlachen High School at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, before returning home for the biggest non-district game of all versus 5A Bolles (17-2) at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 30. The Bolles game will air on FM 91.7 WTRJ and online at www.ilovethetruth.com.
Senior Night is on April 30 versus Ridgeview, and the regular-season finale is at Ponte Vedra on Thursday, May 2.