Storm attempt late comeback, fall to Knights

Published 12:42 pm Monday, May 10, 2021

FRANCISVILLE, La. — Trailing by seven runs after four innings of play, the Delta Charter School Storm tried to mount a late-game comeback against the Slaughter Community Charter School Knights.

Unfortunately, that was not meant to be as No. 12 seed Slaughter Community Charter upset No. 4 seed Delta Charter 10-6 last Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the 2021 LHSAA Class 1A Playoffs at the West Feliciana Sports Complex.

Delta Charter head coach Mason Ozburn said that two things really hurt his team — errors and walks. The Storm committed five errors while starting pitcher Drew Brown and reliever Preston Higgons combined to walk 10 batters.

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“Our main guy, our ace (Drew Brown), it wasn’t his best game. He didn’t throw first-pitch strikes. He didn’t get ahead in the count,” Ozburn said.

Drew Brown allowed eight runs, four of them earned, on one hit with six strikeouts, seven walks, and one hit batter. Ozburn added that the offense could have aided Drew Brown more than it did.

“The bats didn’t help as much, either. You’ve got to help him out when he’s not his best,” Ozburn said. “We didn’t swing it like we usually do. I feel like we were the more athletic team. That’s baseball. That’s how it goes sometimes.”

Slaughter Community Charter (9-10) scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to RBIs by G. Knight, K. Knight, W. Knight, and John Hayes to give the Knights a 9-2 lead.

Delta Charter answered with two runs in the top of the fifth inning to make it a 9-4 game, but the Knights got one of those runs back in the bottom of the fifth for a 10-4 lead. The Storm tried to stage one last rally in the top of the seventh inning, but it could bring across two runs.

“We battled back a little. We answered (right) back with two,” Ozburn said. “Their (starting) pitcher wasn’t throw throwing his best, either. They brought in another pitcher and he didn’t have his best stuff. We didn’t make an adjustment like we should have.”

Higgons lasted two and one-third innings allowing two runs, both of them earned, on two hits with four strikeouts, three walks, one hit batter, and three wild pitches.

Drew Grayson led the Storm at the plate, going 2-for-2 with three runs scored and two stolen bases. Higgons went 1-for-2, was walked once, was hit by a pitch, stole two bases, and scored three runs.

Eli Brown went 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Ethan Keith was 1-for-2 with one walk and one RBI.

The winning pitcher for Slaughter Community Charter was T. Schnexnayder, who went four-plus innings and gave up four runs, all of them earned, on three hits with four strikeouts, five walks and one hit batter. N. Keller came on in relief and allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits, one walk, two hit batters, and one balk.

Coppola was 1-for-2, was walked twice and scored two runs to lead the Knights. Schnexnayder went 0-for-3, reached on an error, had one RBI and scored one run. K. Knight was 1-for-3, was walked once, had two RBIs and scored one run. W. Knight was 1-for-4, reached on an error, and had two RBIs.

“It’s hard to play catch up. We scratched a few in the fifth and in the seventh. We just didn’t get that rally like I’d hope we would,” Ozburn said.

Delta Charter finished its season with an overall record of 9-13. Slaughter Community Charter School advanced to the Class 1A semifinals and took on No. 1 seed Oak Grove High School (18-9) Tuesday evening at McMurry Park – Field 41 in Sulphur, La.