Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Christian loses title, but saves arm

Charlotte Christian baseball coach Greg Simmons made the right decision.

Despite trailing 1-0 in the best-of-3 series for the 3A championship in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association on Sunday, Simmons didn’t bring back his star pitcher for a second consecutive strenuous day.

Luke Bard, a junior, had thrown more than 70 pitches in Game 1 Saturday, and was a bit sore the next day.

Could he have thrown? Sure, and some coaches might have coaxed their top pitcher, considering the circumstances.

Others - and it would be a tiny percentage - might be blinded by the potential championship and not worry about sending a sore pitcher out there.

The temptation is great, and we’re all human.

We like to win, but Simmons kept the larger picture in focus.

“It’s like having a thoroughbred horse in the stable,” Simmons said Monday. “You know you could out-run them, but what effect would that have? Luke has been pitching on four days’ rest all year. No game is so important to cost a kid a career.”

Charlotte Christian, which had won six straight state championships, lost Game 2 on Sunday to Wesleyan Academy.

The title string was gone.

The program’s, and Simmons’ integrity, wasn’t.

Simmons didn’t sound sad Monday.

“Whether it is our No. 1 pitcher or our No. 4 pitcher, health is important,” he said. “That’s why we carry so many pitchers. You want to build a team, not rely on one arm.”

-- Cliff Mehrtens


Anonymous said...

wesleyan coach scott davis should have a look at this. who throws one guy 17 innings in 6 days, or even 10 innings in 2 days? thats called being selfish...

Anonymous said...

What a phony. I guess Simmons forgot to tell you how he pitched the same pitcher in the final two games in a previous championship tournament. Greg Simmons will always do what is best for Greg Simmons, and whatever he can get away with. Self-interest is the only factor in his decisions

Anonymous said...

All self serving comments aside, Wesleyan was the best team this year. Charlotte Christian and their "friendly fans" should just get over it. CCS attempted to bully WCA and got a dose of their own medicine this time around. This article is nothing more than more helment/bat throwing, trash talking, complaining about calls that we have come to associate with CCS. Shame on you Charlotte Christian and Coach Simmons!

Anonymous said...

I think this attempt to pad a surprising loss is stretching the truth. If the coach's plan is to maintain a team of arms, rather than depend on one...where were the other arms? Maybe if this were the plan, CCS would have been in a better position to not get SWEPT. CCS as a whole does very little with a lot of talent and their coaches are overrated. The NCISAA is very weak and the hype is undeserved. Ex.: To get in the final, CCS beat a 6-19 Latin squad. How many state semifinals look like that?

Anonymous said...

The best way to separate the hype from what is real is to measure head-to-head performance. Factually, the private schools have some very good players, but not nearly the depth of the better public schools programs....neither depth of the starting nine, depth of pitching, or bench depth. They are still capable teams and can compete. I believe one of Ardrey Kell's losses this year came at the hands of Providence Day at the Jack Sink Tournament. I expect the performance of the private schools to continue to improve and there will be some good matchups in the future. Kudos to the organizers of the Jack Sink for putting these teams head-to- head.