TCA Conquerors Baseball played four games at the 2020 Lagrange Invitational in Lagrange, Georgia, Friday and Saturday as the new season took full swing. The Conquerors started well with a 4-2 win over Russell County (Seale, Alabama) but then hit some tough spots in the next three. Trinity fell 6-2 to Buford (Buford, Georgia), 11-1 to Northside (Columbus, Georgia), and 4-0 to Providence (Jacksonville, Florida).
Game 1: TCA 4, Russell 2
C.J. Crawford went deep in TCA's win in the opener. Crawford led off the top of the second with a solo shot (1) to left to put the Conquerors on the board.
Russell tied it in the bottom of the fifth with a base hit, but Trinity came right back to reclaim the lead a half inning later when Alonzo Austin was hit by a pitch with bases loaded for a RBI the hard way. Again, Russell got a run-scoring single to tie it in the bottom of the sixth, but the Conquerors put the game away in the seventh by taking advantage of Russell miscues.
Jacob Miller, the courtesy runner for catcher Sebastian Moore (single), scored on an error to put TCA up 3-2. Ashton Nugent (single) later scored an insurance run on an error for the game's final tally.
Bryce Janney (W: 2-0, 1.75 ERA) pitched six innings of two-run ball. He allowed seven hits while walking one and fanning two. Raylan Wagner (S: 1) pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh to close it out for the save.
Game 2: Buford 6, TCA 2
Eric Fouraker and Denver Wood picked up RBI for the Conquerors. Wood drove in Logan Ethridge (walk) with a base hit in the bottom of the second, and Fouraker brought in Justin Simmons (reached on error) with a single to right.
Buford, however, had a two-run first, a one-run third, and a three-run sixth to put up the winning total. Buford did a fine job of manufacturing runs and getting timely hits to bring them in.
Crawford (L 0-1, 3.50) started with three innings of work, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits. He walked three and struck out two.
Game 3: Northside 11, TCA 1
Ashton Nugent drove home Anthony Bucci (single) for Trinity's only run with a ground ball. Nugent (double), Fouraker, Noah Couch, Austin, and Bucci all hit safely for the Conquerors, but Northside's Hunter Poe (W, 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K) and Scott Allen (2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 BB, 3 K) combined for a terrific pitching performance. Seven Northside hitters each drove in runs with three of them knocking in two.
Wagner (L: 0-1, 5.25) took the loss with three innings of work.
Game 4: Providence 4, TCA 0
The Invitational ended with a match-up against Trinity's big rival for the second time in the young season. This time, Providence's Conner Hegan held the Conquerors to three singles (Nugent, Ethridge, Simmons) in six innings. He walked only two and struck out five.
Providence jumped out in front with two runs in the top of the first and added two more in the fifth. Brady Ellison (L: 0-1, 10.50) started for the Conquerors, and Couch, Will Canady, and Wood combined for 5.2 innings of solid relief work. Couch allowed only two hits and struck out four men in his 3.1 innings on the mound.
The Conquerors (1-4) will visit Fletcher High School at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday and then travel down south to Naples to face Barron Collier High School at 7:00 p.m. on Friday. Three more road games follow before the next home game on Thursday, March 19, to open the annual TCA Tournament of Champions.