The Classical Academy Baseball Avenges Loss to Falcon, Wins 3-1

Players from The Classical Academy took a moment to cherish their victory Thursday against Falcon.

Titan baseball players left the diamond at Falcon High School with smiles and entered their dugout to high-fives and a slew of compliments.

What a stark contrast from these teams’ meeting on Tuesday.

The Titans avenged a 10-3 loss earlier this week to the Falcons and beat 4A’s No. 4-ranked team 3-1 after a pair of runs in the seventh inning.

“Tuesday’s loss prepared us for how we responded here,” TCA coach Bart Jennings said. “Falcon is going to give you their best every time. Coach (Brandon) Stegman is one of the best coaches in this city. … If we make no mistakes with our fundamentals, you see what can happen.”

The Titans ended the Falcons’ six-game winning streak after a timely single in the top of the seventh from Zack Hale.

Hale, who had two hits in the loss to the Falcons on Tuesday, stepped in the box with two outs and after Zach Mediavilla’s bunt loaded the bases.

The hit split between the third baseman and shortstop and the ball skipped deep into the outfield as Ben Dunn and Daniel Strevett scored to break a 1-1 tie and give TCA a 3-1 lead.

“(Jaxon) Schleper’s a great pitcher, but I couldn’t have gotten that hit without my guys getting on base,” Hale said. “I got up there and I did my job. He gave me a fastball and I hit it.”

Hale’s hit gave the Titans their first lead since his at-bat in the first inning, an RBI single that built a 1-0 lead.

But the Titans had to tame the Falcons’ offense in the bottom half of the seventh.

During the Falcons’ six-game winning streak, they outscored their opponents 66-13 and scored at least 10 runs in five of the six victories.

Jennings knew a two-run lead against the Falcons wasn’t an ideal cushion. But he trusted his players to come through.

“The pressure doesn’t seem to get to these guys,” Jennings said. “Their perseverance and their character gave everybody hope.”

Ezkiel Kimmig emerged from the Titans pressure situation unphased by the moment and delivered a clutch performance for TCA.

Kimmig pitched his first complete game and allowed one run on four hits and struck out four Falcon batters.

The Titans freshman and TCA’s defense didn’t allow another hit after the second inning and Kimmig earned his final strikeout in the Falcons’ last at-bat.

After a walk and passed ball allowed Falcon’s Uriah Maestas to advance to third, the Falcons had an opportunity to drive in another run or tie the game.

Kimmig shut that down.

With a full count and the Falcons down to their final out of the game, Kimmig fired a pitch that forced a swing and a miss to end the contest.

“This was a team win,” Kimmig said. “On the mound, I was locked in. I knew I had my defense behind me and I knew they would hold me up.”