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Academy teams spring into season

Baseball, soccer teams fall short at home

By Kevin Eckleberry

keckleberry@civitasmedia.com

LaGrange Academy infielder Riley Hess waits on a throw while a Trinity Christian player steals second base. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/03/web1_LGA1-22.jpgLaGrange Academy infielder Riley Hess waits on a throw while a Trinity Christian player steals second base. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

Players from LaGrange Academy and Weber School chase down a loose ball during Thursday’s game. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/03/web1_LGA5.jpgPlayers from LaGrange Academy and Weber School chase down a loose ball during Thursday’s game. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

LaGrange Academy’s Zach Callaghan delivers a pitch during the first inning of Thursday’s game against Trinity Christian. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/03/web1_LGA4.jpgLaGrange Academy’s Zach Callaghan delivers a pitch during the first inning of Thursday’s game against Trinity Christian. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

LaGrange Academy’s soccer team played much better after giving up three early goals to Weber School. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/03/web1_LGA6.jpgLaGrange Academy’s soccer team played much better after giving up three early goals to Weber School. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

LaGrange Academy infielder Mason Brown gets ready to make a throw to first. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/03/web1_LGA9.jpgLaGrange Academy infielder Mason Brown gets ready to make a throw to first. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

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LAGRANGE – LaGrange Academy’s baseball team kicked off a new season with a home game against Trinity Christian on Thursday.

The game was close until the sixth inning when Trinity Christian exploded for six runs, and it went on to claim a 10-0 victory.

“We went into the last inning only down 4-0,” LaGrange Academy coach Brandon Lybrand said. “The pitching kind of ran out a little bit. But I was proud of our boys for sticking with it, and we’ll get better as the season goes on.”

Also on Thursday, LaGrange Academy’s girls’ soccer team played its second game of the season, and it lost to visiting Weber School 5-0.

The Lady Warriors were down by three goals barely 10 minutes into the game, and they settled down and played much better after that.

“We re-adjusted some positions, and then had a really good second half,” LaGrange Academy head coach Mike Petite said. “They didn’t threaten us terribly much, and we got a couple of looks. They scored late when we were completely exhausted. They scored two goals in the last five minutes of the game. They were running kids and out, and we didn’t have the horses to run in and out.”

In Thursday’s baseball game, Lybrand said there were some bright spots in the loss.

“I saw a lot of positives,” Lybrand said. “Jack Keating, who is an eighth-grader who played right field, made a great catch. He had a good defensive game. Evan Smith, he made some good plays in the outfield. I was real proud of him. I thought both Zach Callaghan and Mason Brown pitched really well today. So there were a lot of positives that we saw out of the game, and a lot of things we’ll work on and get better on.”

In the soccer game, Weber School jumped out to quick 3-0 lead before LaGrange Academy found its footing.

It’s a new-look team this after the departure of four seniors from last year’s team, all of whom are playing a sport in college, and two of them are playing soccer.

“It’s a great group of girls,” Petite said. “Great spirit, and great attitude. They love to go hard, and they never back down. As they learn more about the game, we’ll get better as a team.”

LaGrange Academy will be led this season by junior Sydney Emerson, a prolific scorer who had 55 goals during her freshman season.

Emerson is slowed by an injury right now, and she saw limited playing time in Thursday’s game.

“She didn’t play in the second half,” Petite said. “She’s injured and a little banged up, so she couldn’t go in the second half. That gave a couple of other people some opportunities in some different places, and it gave of some ideas of what we need to look at going forward. So it’s a blessing in disguise in a way. Hopefully she’ll get healthy and rested up and she’ll get back at it, because she’s a game-changer. We get her the ball, we feel pretty good about it.”

LaGrange Academy’s baseball team will be back home on Monday to play Heritage at 4:30 p.m., and the soccer team will host Dominion on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports