When they needed them to, the Augusta Christian Lions’ bats came through for them Friday night.
Facing Augusta Prep, a day after both teams played games against teams in their respective regions, the Lions overcame a nine-error performance with 17 hits, winning 16-14.
“Giving up seven errors in two innings is pretty rough, but we had the bats going pretty well,” said Lions catcher Matt Herzwurm, who had four hits and four RBI.
The Cavaliers (4-10) led 14-13 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Michael Downing (1-2), who relieved starter Bill Davison in the second inning, quickly got two outs. An error led to an Eric Fogle single, a Herzwurm two-run double and an RBI single for Ben DeWitt as the Lions took a 16-14 lead.
Lions’ reliever Ret Thompson walked two in the top of the seventh but was able to escape unscathed. He got the win working 2⅔ scoreless innings, improving to 2-1.
The Lions (12-7) committed seven errors through two innings and trailed 9-1 heading into the bottom of the second.
They also saw a 13-9 lead turn into a 14-13 deficit, but kept fighting each time.
“What I give them credit for is they’ve got the heart to say, ‘OK we’re down a lot, we’re going to find a way to come back,” Lions head coach Jack Hook said. “We’re going to win the game no matter what the situation is.’”
Leading 9-6, the Cavaliers committed two errors in the third inning as the Lions scored seven runs (four earned) to forge a 13-9 advantage.
“I just told them I thought we competed well,” said Cavaliers head coach Brad Hillman, whose team had four errors. “We had two innings where we didn’t make the plays we needed to make to win the game. We did put pressure on their defense to make plays and they didn’t make all the plays either.”
The Cavaliers kept the pressure on with a three-run fifth to take the 14-13 lead. Jimmy St. Louis, the Cavaliers’ eighth-grade catcher delivered a two-run single.