“The season has been a success,” ELCA coach Doug Campbell said. “We’ve been ranked No. 1 most of the year. That doesn’t mean a lot but it does let your guys know they are playing well. They feel like they can beat anybody.”
Junior Jordan Howard had two home runs for a total of seven RBI and Jacob Heyward added a solo homer.
“We’re hitting the ball well,” Campbell said. “Lately, we haven’t been as strong at the plate as we’ve been all year long but the last few games we’ve come back around. We definitely are hitting with some power at times and that’s good.”
ELCA didn’t take long to tie the game and claim the lead for good. In the bottom of the first with the bases loaded, Jaylen Smith induced a walk against Sam Kim to push home Dazman Cameron for a 1-1 score.
During the next at-bat, Kim helped the Chargers again when he hit Dalton Etheridge to plate Heyward.
Then, Howard maximized the damage by lifting a pitch from new pitcher Chase Rudkin over the left field wall for a grand slam and a 6-1 advantage.
After Heyward belted a homer to the same part of the field against Rudkin in the second, Howard stepped up again in the fourth. This time with two runners on, Howard sent Manuel Corrales’ pitch deep to left for a 10-3 lead.
“I’m looking for a little more consistency throughout the games instead of one big inning here or there,” Campbell said. “I’d like to see us get a few more opposite field base hits and execute in some situations when we have runners at third and at second—that is the main thing we need to improve on for the playoffs.”
Andrew Gomez and DJ Curl also had RBI singles for the Chargers, who fell short of the Final Four last season.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re doing everything we need to do to get the runs across,” Campbell said. “We ran into that issue last year and we can’t let that happen again. This is a big chance for these guys to win a state championship.”
ELCA's first-round opponent will be rival Landmark Christian in the Class A (Private) playoffs. The Chargers won both games this season by one run.