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Cavaliers focused on strong finish

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Jaden Bradley

Jaden Bradley leads the Cavaliers at the plate with a .459 batting average.

The St. John’s Christian baseball team entered into spring break with its third win over a SCISA Class 3A school this season.

The Class A Cavs improved to 9-3 overall with their second straight victory. A 9-4 victory on a windy night at Florence Christian on April 1 also exacted revenge for a season-opening loss on March 2.

Coach Stewart Pierce’s team pounded out 11 hits and scored at least one run in all of the first five innings. Hurler Josh Legnard fanned 16 batters and allowed just two hits. Six SJCA errors led to four unearned runs for Florence Christian.

“I think we’ve got a really good team,” Pierce said. “Against a decent 3A school we kept swinging the bats and came out with the win. “We’ve only had two bad nights but they were at the wrong time. The two region games we lost, we didn’t hit it very well. That’s just baseball, though. You can be on top of the world today and lose to the Bad News Bears tomorrow.”

Nick Jimenez collected three hits and scored a run for the Cavaliers while Jaden Bradley and Brayden Lail added two hits each. Lail scored three times and Bradley once. Leadoff hitter Clark Moraux scored twice and drove in a run along with Bradley, Legnard and Ryan Pierce.

Legnard improved to 3-0 with 6.2 strong innings, dropping his earned-run average to 0.69. His 49 strikeouts is a team high and he’s also garnered two saves in his six appearances.

KC Kacarka has a 2-1 record and 1.09 ERA in 19.1 innings with 17 strikeouts. Pierce (1-0, 2.62 ERA) has a save and 20 strikeouts in 16 innings. Connor Lockliear (1-0, 0.72 ERA) has 12 strikeouts in nine innings.

At the dish, Bradley (.459) leads a productive group at .400 or better. Legnard (.458), Kacarka (.414) and Moraux (.400) are more leading hitters for the Cavaliers. Jimenez is hitting .375.

Kacarka and Bradley lead in RBIs with 12 and 11 respectively, followed by Legnard with 10 runs driven in. Moraux has come around to score a team-high 13 runs while Lail has reached home 10 times.

The Cavaliers continue the season on April 12 at Andrew Jackson before returning home on April 15 against Dorchester Academy. They go to Clarendon Hall on April 16 and host Holly Hill on April 20 before finishing the regular season at Patrick Henry on April 22.

If St. John’s Christian can run the table, it can snag a No. 1 seed for the playoffs.

The Cavs are 3-2 against their remaining five opponents, having edged Andrew Jackson (1-0), Dorchester (9-4) and Holly Hill (6-2) while falling to Clarendon Hall (10-0) and Patrick Henry (6-4).

“We’ve got to keep swinging the bats and pitching like we have but we’ve got to play better defense every night. We feel like we’ve got five or six guys we can put on the mound to keep people off balance.”