Lafayette Christian wins state title
Published 12:30 am Friday, May 17, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They’re the champs.
The Lafayette Christian School Cougars overcame a 6-2 deficit in the fifth inning to beat Peachtree Academy 8-6 to capture the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association Division II-A state championship.
The teams split a doubleheader on Tuesday in the first two games of the championship series, setting up Thursday’s winner-take-all showdown.
Peachtree Academy, which won the previous two state titles, appeared to be in command after scoring four runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 6-2 lead.
The Cougars were a long way from done, though.
They scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut their deficit in half, and they surged ahead with four runs in the sixth inning.
Jacob Karvelas, who was brilliant in relief, threw a perfect
bottom of the seventh to finish it.
Before the game, head coach Ben Jackson’s message to the team was to go out and have fun and just see what happens.
“They’re two-time state champions. All the pressure’s on them,” Jackson said. “It’s not on us. We have nothing to lose. We’re a second-year varsity team. What do we have to lose? Just go out to play, and they did it. They fight, and they fight. They’ll never quit.”
Karvelas entered the game in relief of Tanner Jackson with two outs in the fifth inning, and he was dominant.
Karvelas didn’t give up a hit or a walk in 2 1/3 innings, and he had three strikeouts.
Offensively, Nathan Karvelas had a big day for the Cougars with three hits and two RBIs, and Tanner Jackson had a hit and two RBIs.
Cason Firth had an RBI triple that gave the Cougars the lead in the sixth inning, and he also walked twice and scored two runs.
Adam Barnett had two hits and three runs scored, Jacob Karvelas had a hit and a walk, and Ben Ogle had a hit.
Ogle began the sixth-inning rally with a base hit, and Jacob Karvelas walked with one out to put men on first and second.
Next up was Adam Barnett, and he hit a ground ball to the pitcher, whose throw to third baseman went awry, allowing the Cougars to score two runs and pull even.
Firth then hammered the ball to the right-field fence for a triple, and Barnett trotted home with the go-ahead run.
An RBI single by Nathan Karvelas brought Barnett home to give the Cougars a two-run lead.
Armed with a two-run lead, Jacob Karvelas made quick work of Peachtree Academy in the top of the seventh, and the celebration was on.
OF NOTE: For more on Thursday’s game and the Cougars’ season, see Saturday’s sports section.