Crossroads drops second straight at home

Apr. 3—HENDERSON — Crossroads Christian's baseball team fell short once again, losing 6-3 on Tuesday to the Wake Prep Academy Guardians.

"We battled," said Wake head coach BJ Saunders.

"We got out to a lead, they came back a couple of innings later. We easily could have folded right there and let them get the momentum, but the bottom half of our lineup put a bat on the ball, we forced them to make a play and had some clutch two-out hits — that was the difference."

After losing in a muddy home opener to Pungo Christian a few weeks ago, Crossroads now drops to a home record of 0-2.

"We just have trouble finishing games," said an assistant coach for Crossroads.

Coming off spring break, the Colts hadn't practiced in over a week, and the rust certainly showed. Tallying a total of 10 strikeouts, the Colts struggled to get a bat on the ball (they struck out three straight times in a near-immaculate inning).

Wake jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but it was much better vibes in the air than the rainy, muddy loss to Pungo Christian. Music rocked in between innings and rays of sunshine protruded through the partly cloudy skies. The crowd turnout for the nice day was better too — even given the lack of bleachers.

The construction zone behind home plate meant fly balls threatened to do damage to truck windows as workers mapped out the foundation for a new facility. The Crossroads Christian flag pole sat 350 feet away from the dish with a strong wind blowing directly towards the infield.

Jackson Anderson once again took to the mound for the Colts. The wiry sophomore, who also plays point guard for the basketball team, was doing his best to deliver strikes for his team but the Guardians were cracking the bats early.

A deep shot to center field sent junior Danny Wieninger on a tracking mission, but he couldn't make the squeeze and allowed a runner on — the Colts later ran down a runner on the base pads to get out of the inning.

Down 1-0, the Colts built momentum to score the equalizer with two outs and runners in scoring position. Saunders subbed in a new pitcher to try and prevent the tying run. The replacement started his day with five straight balls, putting runners on the corners.

"Get me home," Wieninger told the batter at the plate.

In a 2-1 count, the Colts showed off some trickery. Initiating the chaos, the runner at first started to steal second and ended up in a rundown to create a distraction, allowing Wieninger to sneak in from third — by the time the Guardians noticed him, it was too late.

Wieninger tagged home plate before the runner was tagged for the final, scoring the tying run before the inning ended, but even some of the Crossroads players were confused about whether or not the run counted.

Despite the strategic base running, the Colts found themselves trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh. The Guardians were still getting hits off Anderson, ripping a shot into left field and then another base hit to make it 6-3 with two outs.

Anderson finally fielded the final out to prevent any more runs from scoring, but the Colts failed to get anything going on the offensive end, despite multiple gifted opportunities.

After the game, head coach Bryan Taylor highlighted certain "bright spots" to his team and stressed the importance of small ball execution to score runs and win games. Above all else, Taylor emphasized how the real victory in baseball is bettering yourself as an individual and as a ball player, all while learning valuable life lessons the game has to offer.

The Colts now sit at 1-5 to start the year and will play the second of their four-game home stand on Thursday against the 2-4 Friendship Christian Falcons.