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Briarwood tops John Hancock for first region win

The Briarwood Academy Diamond Buccaneers marked up a GISA Region 1A win in their only game last week, an 11-7 victory over John Hancock Academy in Sparta.

The Bucs will play twice at the end of this week, one game a doubleheader, before taking a week off for spring vacation.

The Bucs will host non-region foe Edmund Burke Academy at 4:30 p.m. this Thursday, April 2, before traveling to Louisville on Friday for an all important region doubleheader with Thomas Jefferson Academy. The first game will begin at 4:30 p.m., immediately followed by the second game of the doubleheader, a makeup game for an earlier game cancelled due to rain.

"The doubleheader is crucial to how we're going to place in our region," Coach Kevin Cowart said, adding that the finish for the playoff spots for the Bucs' Region 1A is "still up in the air." The Bucs are currently in third place behind David Emanuel Academy and Thomas Jefferson Academy. The Bucs, 1-1 in region play, suffered a 5-1 loss to DEA earlier in the season.

The Bucs will have 13 days off after the TJ doubleheader to rest for the remainder of the season, according to Coach Cowart, who says the break will be a welcome risk for the Bucs' team, which is low in numbers.

"We're going to practice, get healthy, and give our pitchers time to rest their arms," he said.

Coach Cowart said the Bucs have improved since the season started.

"We're playing a great game defensively, and our hitting has improved. If your hitting improves, you win more games."

The Bucs did their best hitting of the season in the 11-7 win over John Hancock. Seniors Ryan Gerlach, 3-for-4 at the plate, and Cane Gilmer, 3-for-5, led the Bucs, each contributing a single, a double and triple to the effort. Matthew McElveen added a triple and Dalton Reese a ground rule double.

The game was scoreless until the third inning when Gerlach walked and then advanced to second on Reese's single. Gilmer singled to load the bases. Jonathan Gay singled, driving in the first two runs of the game.

After holding JHA scoreless in the bottom of the third, the Bucs parlayed three walks into three runs. Spencer Hadden, Adam Hardy and Jarrett Keen scored on Gerlach's double. JHA came back in the bottom of the inning to score two.

Up 5-2 at the top of the fifth, the Bucs added two more runs. McElveen led off with a triple down the right field line. Hardy came up with an RBI single. Gerlach tripled to score Hardy.

With the Bucs up 8-2, Gilmer led off in the top of the sixth with a hit, ending up with a ground rule double. McElveen's hit gave Gilmer the opportunity to score. JHA came up with three runs in the bottom of the inning, but it wasn't enough.

The Bucs added three more runs in the top of the seventh on a single by Gerlach, a ground rule double to center by Reese, a two RBI triple by Gilmer, and an RBI single by Eric Johnson.

Web posted on Thursday, April 02, 2009

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