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Baseball: Seven runs not enough for Pinecrest against Greater Gwinnett Christian
Pinecrest Academy senior Carter Kling slides away from the tag Monday during the Paladins' 10-7 loss to Greater Gwinnett Christian. Kling was called safe on the play. - photo by David Roberts

Pinecrest Academy lost 10-7 to Greater Gwinnett Christian on Monday after the Barons scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to erase Pinecrest's 7-3 lead.

“You know, we’re a young team,” Pinecrest head coach Jon Brewer said. “Some of our guys are still learning how to play fundamental baseball. We put ourselves in a spot to win against a really good team tonight.” 

Nick Wilkinson pitched the first four innings, allowing five hits and struck out three. He found his groove in his final inning, when he recorded his first 1-2-3 inning. Wilkinson also drove in two runs on two hits. 

Will Howell went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored. 

Connor Atimin and Connor Ensman each hit two singles and scored two runs in the loss. Atimin pitched in relief for Wilkinson and received the loss. 

In his first season at Pinecrest, Brewer said he’s been building a culture of running the bases. In Monday night’s game, the Paladins stole 11 bases and were caught stealing only once. 

“When you’ve got a roster like ours, you’ve got to play smarter baseball,” Brewer said. “When we’re not going to create as many runs as you need to win, we’ve got to run on the basepaths.” 

Brewer said due to COVID-19 and other outlying reasons, Pinecrest dropped out of Region 6-1A Private this season and are only playing a non-region schedule.

Pinecrest (4-4) beat Greater Gwinnett in their first game of the season 6-0 and started the season 3-0, but have dropped four of its past five games.

“We’re getting there,” Brewer said, “This season is all about putting the pieces together, making sure our guys are getting a senior season, and teaching our young guys how to play the game. We’re gonna lose some, but as long as we lose as a team, I’m OK with that.”

Pinecrest rescheduled Tuesday’s game against Bethlehem Christian Academy because of the impending inclement weather. The Paladins' next game is scheduled for Thursday at home against Holy Spirit Prep, which the Paladins beat twice earlier in the season.