Academy handles Heritage for first win
LAGRANGE – Mason Brown delivered the goods on the pitcher’s mound, and Zach Callaghan got it done at the plate as the LaGrange Academy Warriors (1-1) beat visiting Heritage 7-4 on Monday for their first win of the season.
Brown pitched the first four innings, and he held Heritage scoreless after giving up a run in the first inning.
“He pitched a gem,” LaGrange Academy coach Brandon Lybrand said. “He absolutely dominated. He was locating all of his pitches. And he had his changeup working really well. He really got us going. He put up a bunch of zeroes, which was what we needed.”
Callaghan, a senior leader for the Warriors, had a monster offensive day with four hits and five RBIs.
Callaghan started the game at shortstop, and he pitched the final three innings in relief of Brown.
“He had an excellent game,” Lybrand said of Callaghan. “I was real proud of him to see him get going. He had a great game offensively.”
The Warriors did all of their scoring in the first three innings.
In the bottom of the first, Callaghan had an RBI single to bring in Nick Keating with the Warriors’ first run.
It was tied at 1-1 when the Warriors pushed three runs across in the bottom of the second to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Jack Keating, an eighth-grader who will be a big part of this season’s team, got the rally started with a walk.
“He’s had some good at-bats these first two games,” Lybrand said. “He’s gotten on either by walk or hit by pitch. He’s gotten on out of the nine spot, which has been beneficial to us.”
Nick Keating followed with a double to put runners on first and second, bringing Callaghan to the plate.
The senior was once again up to the challenge, and his two-run single gave the Warriors a 3-1 lead.
After Payton Barr singled and Colby Heath walked, Callaghan scored on a wild pitch, and the Warriors were ahead 4-1.
Brown shut Heritage down in the top of the third, and LaGrange Academy went right back to work in the bottom of the inning.
With one out and two men on, Nick Keating’s RBI single pushed the Warriors’ lead to 5-1.
Then with two outs, it was time for Callaghan to strike again.
Callaghan drove the ball over the center fielder’s head for a two-run double, and the Warriors were on top 7-1.
The Warriors didn’t score again, but they did enough offensive damage in the first three innings to secure the win.
“We really hit the ball today,” Lybrand said. “I was really proud of the boys for that. We bunted real well. We executed a lot of what we wanted to do. So offensively, we played real well. We got runners on, we bunted them over, and we were able to drive them in. So we were pleased with that.”
LaGrange Academy will visit Oak Mountain Thursday, and it will play its next home game on March 22 against region foe Brandon Hall.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports