Playing the final week of their varsity baseball careers, seniors Brad Nassaur and Erik Hegeman carried the load for Pinecrest Academy on Tuesday.
Nassaur turned in a strong performance on the mound and combined with Hegeman at the plate to deliver six of the Paladins seven hits in a 4-1 victory against King’s Ridge on the road.
Nassaur pitched a complete game, three-hitter, giving up one unearned run while walking three and striking out seven.
Only one King’s Ridge batter was able to advance past second base after the second inning.
Offensively, Nassaur had three hits and scored two runs. Hegeman had three hits in four at-bats, including a double, an RBI and a run scored.
Sophomore Garrett Kliphouse gave Pinecrest the lead — and what proved to be the game-winning RBI — with a two-out, two-run single in the second.
All four of Pinecrest’s runs were scored with two outs.
Nassaur was also part of a rarely-seen scenario in the fifth inning.
With the bases empty and Pinecrest (7-14, 3-11 Region 5-A) leading 3-1, Nassaur drilled a home run deep over the left field fence, leaving the Paladins comfortable that they could hold King’s Ridge (8-15, 7-8) to less than three runs in the final two innings and secure the win.
But Nassaur stumbled as he sped around first base, and upon crossing home plate, King’s Ridge appealed the play, contending that he missed first base entirely.
The umpire called Nassaur out on the play, negating the home run and leaving the score at 3-1.
However, after working through the let-down, the Paladins shook off the disappointment and shut down the Tigers the rest of the way.
The Paladins face St. Francis on Thursday and Pace Academy on Friday — both away games — to close out the season.