Duval Sports

Let the Church say “Aman” as Trinity Takes District Over Providence

Trinity Christian Academy- “Parker Aman hit the first home run of his life on this field; it was a big moment for him and we’re very proud of him”. The words of Head Coach Gill Morales of Trinity Christian, after his team defeated Providence 3-1 Friday Night. The game went exactly like many thought it would, seeing that both teams came into the contest undefeated in district play. The Defending Class 4A State Champion Trinity Christian Conquerors came into the game tied with the Providence Stallions with 0 losses in the district (Trinity 4-0, Providence 5-0). Both teams were having great seasons this year (Trinity 17-3, Providence 19-1) setting up for great match up on Jacksonville’s westside. The only thing that could stop these two teams in the beginning was the relentless Jacksonville rush hour traffic. Providence, located near the Jacksonville Beaches is normally a forty five minute bus ride to Trinity Christian Academy, however it took them an hour and forty five minutes to get there. They weren’t the only ones affected by the traffic either, so the game was pushed back from it’s original 6pm start to 7pm. It only thickened the atmosphere with anticipation as one official said to a colleague before the game, ” this is the top baseball game in the state tonight”.

From the beginning it didn’t disappoint. Trinity’s AJ Labas got the nod and immediately found himself in a hole. He allowed three runners to reach loading the bases for Providence with only one out in the top of the first. Yet Trinity was able to turn a double play and avoid a potential disastrous start to the game. Cody Parsons took the mound for Providence and made short work of Trinity in the bottom of the first. Labas then found his groove in the 2nd, striking out a batter and forcing a double play to move into the bottom of the inning. It was there where Parker Aman shocked the big crowd in attendance with a two run shot to left field, sailing over the fence for the home run. Aman was observed praying at his positional 3rd base before the start of the game, proving that God still answers prayers. It put his team up 2-0, and in a game with impeccable defensive players, that would seem insurmountable. But Providence would bounce back .

The 3rd inning saw the Stallions strand another runner after a great diving grab by Trinity’s Jeff Fripp. Yet in the fourth, Max Holmes would put the Stallions on the board after getting on base and scoring on a double from Jake Morrow. The RBI for Morrow had Providence in great position to eat, but they should’ve ordered fries with the Big Max run, as they could not tie the game in the fourth. Coach Mac Mackiewitz changed pitchers in the 5th to keep the Conquerors off balance. The strategy worked as Cooper Cain immediately got a strike out, and the game would remain a 2-1 score in favor of Trinity going into the bottom of the 6th. In the 6th, Trinity’s Chad Ragland would reach base and advance to 3rd on an unforced ERA by providence. That set up a double by Jeff Fripp, driving in Ragland and putting Trinity up 3-1. Fripp has been hot of late. Ironically he and Providence’s Max Holmes were former teammates, but now their rivals who had significant plays in the game.

Providence would find itself in a tough position going into the top of the 7th inning. After two quick outs by Trinity, the Stallions would find themselves in front of a 3-2 pitch from AJ Labas who had pitched the entire game up to that point. IMG_2004Going for the complete game the payoff pitch was called a ball to the dismay of the Trinity home crowd, and the Providence batter took first base. Trinity’s Coach Morales decided at this point to change pitchers. Said Morales, “AJ pitched an incredible game, but he was way over his pitch count and we have confidence in our bullpin”. Coach Gill called for the right handed sophomore Tyler Isenberg to close with two outs in the 7th. Yet Isenberg seemed to have control issues from the mound. Uncharacteristically for the young pitcher, he walked to straight batters allowing the go ahead run to reach first base. Morales then made a decision to go with his right handed senior Matt Parker to close. Providence did not make it easy. A deep fly ball to left field seemed like it had the distance, but dropped into the glove of the outfielder answering the prayers of the Trinity faithful.

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With the win, Trinity Christian wins the class 2-4 A district and knocks off the number one team in the state. Both teams traded number one spots throughout the year, and both teams know that this is just the first offering in the service of baseball giving. Trinity Christian was the beneficiary of this one, and the church said “Amen”.

 

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