Kemper Academy shortstop Trent Lightner tries to get a handle on the ball in the Rams win over CA.
Kemper Academy shortstop Trent Lightner tries to get a handle on the ball in the Rams win over CA.
By Rocky


Kemper County Messenger

It was quite a week on the baseball diamond for Kemper Academy, which captured the MAIS District 2-A championship with a pair of wins – then capped off the week with a big win over a strong Grace Christian School team.

Kemper opened the week with a 16-1 drubbing of Central Academy in Macon last Tuesday. On Friday, the Rams topped Calhoun Academy 3-1 in a pitchers’ duel to claim the district title, then they beat Grace Christian 6-1 on Saturday.

The three wins last week upped KA’s record to 10-3 on the season. The Rams had three contests scheduled this week: Tuesday at home against Columbus Christian Academy, Thursday at Scott County and Friday at Starkville Christian.

Next week, the Rams are scheduled to go to Grace Christian on Tuesday (April 25), host Scott County on Thursday (April 27) and entertain Starkville Christian on Friday (April 28).

The MAIS Class A state playoffs begin the week of May 1.

Last week, the Rams used outstanding pitching to earn their three victories. Sophomore Gabe Sciple threw a pair of gems, and he combined with Josh Mitchell and Logan Christopher to allow just two earned runs in three games.

Sciple struck out 12 in four innings at Central, giving up no earned runs and just two hits.

His teammates backed him with plenty of firepower, with Dalton Sanderford leading the way with a 3-for-4 day that included a double, three runs and two RBIs.

Chase Cawthorn had a single, double, three runs and two RBIs and Trent Lightner had a single, double, two runs and two RBIs. Brooks McDade added a double, four RBIs and two runs scored; Mitchell and Tanner Owen both had one hit, two runs and an RBI; Jack Christopher had a single and two runs; Logan Christopher had a single and an RBI; and Sciple drove in one run.

On Friday night, KA beat Calhoun behind Mitchell and Christopher and single runs in the first, third and fourth innings.

Lightner was 2-for-3 with a run scored and Owen had two hits for Kemper. Jordan Higginbotham doubled and drove in a run; Cawthorn singled and scored; Mitchell singled and had one RBI; Logan Christopher had one RBI; and Sciple scored.

Mitchell got the win by going 5.1 innings with eight strikeouts. He gave up four hits and one run. Logan Christopher closed it out and earned the save, striking out four in 1.2 hitless innings.

On Saturday, Kemper scored four times in the bottom of the third inning and held off visiting Grace Christian for a 6-1 win.

Sciple was dominant again, allowing just two hits and one run in a complete-game, seven-inning performance. He struck out six.

Cawthorn was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored and Sanderford doubled and scored twice to lead Kemper. Lightner had a single, a run and an RBI; Mitchell singled and scored; and Logan Christopher scored once.