Warriors fall short in playoff series
Published 2:24 pm Saturday, May 5, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The LaGrange Academy Warriors had their bats working in game two of their playoff series with Thomas Jefferson.
LaGrange Academy banged out 15 hits and scored 11 runs, but it wasn’t enough against a Thomas Jefferson team that scored 35 runs in the two games combined.
After winning the opening game of the series 18-2, Thomas Jefferson completed the sweep with a 17-11 win.
Thomas Jefferson advances to the quarterfinals of the GISA playoffs, while a successful season comes to a close for LaGrange Academy.
The Warriors won the Region 1-AA championship to earn a spot in the state playoffs.
“We accomplished one of our goals, which was to win region,” LaGrange Academy head coach Brandon Lybrand said. “I know we didn’t get to our second goal (of winning at state), but hopefully we’ll continue the trend of getting better year after year.”
The first game was all Thomas Jefferson, which scored six runs in the opening inning and rolled from there to the 18-2 win.
The Warriors were limited to one hit, a double by Joseph Calhoun, and Brent Kardoes and Luke Swann each drove in a run.
Mason Brown walked and scored a run.
Calhoun, Riley Hess and Kardoes each pitched for the Warriors.
After a 30-minute break, the teams returned to the field for game two, and the Warriors were the visiting team on the scoreboard.
The Warriors got off to a flying start with eight runs in the first two innings, with Daniel Swann hitting a three-run home run in the top of the first.
Unfortunately for LaGrange Academy, it had no answer for Thomas Jefferson’s explosive offense.
Thomas Jefferson scored six runs in the bottom of the second to tie it, and it took the lead with three more runs in the third inning.
After LaGrange Academy tied it with three runs in the top of the fourth, Thomas Jefferson went back on top with a run in the bottom of the fourth before adding five key insurance runs in the fifth inning.
While the Warriors came up short, Lybrand was proud of the way his players responded after the difficult first game.
“They battled and fought, and never gave up,” Lybrand said. “To get beat the way we did that first game, to put three runs right off the bat was huge. We never got down. Down 11-8, they kept fighting, battling, scrapping out hits and at-bats. I was so proud of them.”
Daniel Swann, one of five seniors on the roster, had a huge game for the Warriors.
Swann had four hits, including a home run and a double, and he drove in five runs.
Luke Swann also got it done with four hits and four RBIs, and he had a double.
Calhoun had three hits, and Kardoes had two hits and an RBI, and he scored three runs.
Mason Brown had a hit and a walk with two runs scored, and Braden Haynes had a double and a run scored.
Brown and Daniel Swann handled the mound duties for the Warriors, and they each pitched three innings.
It was the end of the road for LaGrange Academy’s five seniors, Daniel Swann, Brent Kardoes, Evan Smith, Mason Brown and John Whitlow.
While Kardoes and Swann transferred to LaGrange Academy as seniors, Kardoes, Smith and Whitlow had been a part of the program for at least four years.
“I hate it for our seniors,” Lybrand said. “They left everything out on the field.”
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