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Crusaders ace stymies Merritt Island Chr.

Canterbury scored four times in the final inning to defeat Merritt Island Christian 7-1 on Friday.

By Special to the Times
Published May 5, 2007


MERRITT ISLAND - Canterbury scored four times in the final inning to defeat Merritt Island Christian 7-1 on Friday.

Michael Paulk (7-1) suffered his first loss of the year, striking out nine and allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits through the first six innings.

In the seventh, Canterbury broke through with four straight hits, including two doubles. Andy Jackson then relieved Paulk and recorded the final three outs.

"(Paulk) threw the ball pretty good against us, " Canterbury assistant coach John Lancaster said. "We didn't hit the ball like we usually do. He had a cutter that baffled us a little bit."

The game's pitching star, however, was Brandon Hamilton, who pitched a complete game. Of five MICS hits, only one was sharply hit - Logan Deen's single leading off the bottom of the fifth.

"It was the first really quality pitching that we've seen in a while, " Paulk said. "I don't think we were prepared for that."

Hamilton said he didn't do anything fancy.

"I knew that all I had to do was throw strikes, " he said. "They just kept hitting groundballs and my team kept making the plays."

Canterbury got on the scoreboard first when Hamilton doubled and scored on a two-out base hit by shortstop John Lancaster, the coach's son. The Crusaders took a 3-0 lead in the third. Joe Cuda and Lancaster singled, after which a pair of bunts and a MICS throwing error produced the runs.