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Warriors off to strong baseball start

Christian Academy of Knoxville's baseball team went down in order during its first at-bat of the 2011 season.

But the Warriors' bats didn't stay silent long in their 12-8 victory over the Knoxville Ambassadors Tuesday, March 15, at CAK.

The Warriors, after the silent first inning, came alive with a four-run explosion in the bottom of the second.

Joshua McMillan led off the frame with a double. Two outs later, freshman right fielder Dylan Keck drew a walk and later stole second. McMillan, who reached third on a wild pitch, and Keck both scored on a double by Austin Walker, giving the Warriors a 2-0 lead.

CAK would add two more in the inning on a scoring single by David Zimmerman and an RBI triple from shortstop Heath Hawkins.

The Warriors extended their advantage to 6-0 in the third when McMillan blasted a two-run homer.

The Ambassadors cut CAK's margin in half in the top of the fourth on a three-run home run by Daniel Bowers.

Christian Academy would answer with a pair in the bottom of the inning. There, catcher Devon Gray hit a two-run round-tripper to make it 8-3.

The Ambassadors would pull to within 8-5 in the sixth with a pair of runs off CAK reliever Joe Johnson.

Johnson would struggle early before rebounding. He was roughed up by the first four hitters he faced.

However, Johnson then retired the next three Ambassador hitters and went on to strike out the side in the seventh.

“I like the seventh a lot better than the sixth,” Johnson said. “In a game like this, you try to learn from the bad stuff.

“But you also try to remember the good stuff. I just went out there and hit my spots and I got some confidence,” he added.

CAK scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth as Philip Pardue had an RBI double.

Dalton Keck and McMillan, who went 3-for-4 with a double, a homer, three runs scored and three RBIs, had scoring singles.

Johnson drove in CAK's final run with a sacrifice fly.


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