By Anthony Rhoads
When ELCA head coach Joe Shadowens put his No. 1 and 2 pitchers in to catch for each other in the second-round series against Temple, it wasn't because he thought it was a brilliant coaching move but it was because he didn't have much of a choice.
Starting catcher Doug Campbell had suffered a deep thigh bruise in the first round against Georgia Military College and even though he was able to bat, he wasn't able to catch.
"It was necessity," Shadowens said. "Obviously, we would not have liked to have it that way but it worked out for us. We realize we're thin but we're lucky to have guys who can play more than one position."
The situation turned out fine for ELCA as the Chargers swept the No. 4 team in the state with Moss pitching game 1 with White catching. In game 2, White pitched the Chargers to victory with Moss catching.
"Both did a great job," Shadowens said. "They know they have to give 110 percent at each position. They could have said 'we gave it our best shot' but nobody wanted to do that. There's not a complaint; they've done everything we've asked them to."
Shadowens added that with White pitching, his team has the confidence to win against any opponent.
"When Christian goes to the mound, we feel like we can win the ball game," Shadowens said. "I think Christian made everybody else play better. The other guys felt like they had to step up."
In last week's third-round series against No. 1-ranked Schley County, White pitched the Chargers to a win in game 1 and came back the next day to pitch in game 3.
"He'll be fine," Shadowens said. "Christian's very durable; he's big and strong. His arm's in shape. We were going to take him out after three or four innings but he kept getting out of the innings. He still had good stuff at the end of the game, the last out was a called third strike."
White said he was glad to be on the mound in the game that sent his team to the Final 4.
"It felt great," White said . "I didn't throw as many strikes as I wanted but it felt good knowing we beat the No. 1 team in the state. Nobody picked us to win; they all picked Schley to win and go to the state finals. I think it's awesome. It's kind of like a dream. It shows you what a work ethic and teamwork can do for you."
The ELCA Chargers now turn their attention to Mt. Paran in a best-of-three series starting today with a 5 p.m doubleheader at home. If needed, game 3 will be Tuesday at 5 p.m.
"It's awesome," Moss said. "I'm so excited about this year; I think we can win the state championship. We've shown we can come out and beat the best. We're playing as a team right now; it's team baseball."
The Chargers have beaten Mt. Paran three times this year but Shadowens isn't taking much stock in those victories.
"Mt. Paran has gotten a lot better and that's bad for us," Shadowens said. "They're pitching better and they're hitting better. We respect them because they can hit the ball. We respect them very much. We're a little uneasy. It'll be a good series; it'll be fun."
ELCA was at home for the series against Georgia Military College but had to go on the road against Temple and Schley.
"It's good to be back at home," Shadowens said. "Having beating a No. 4 team and a No. 1 team on their fields is a great accomplishment.
After beating Schley County, on their field, I'm onboard now. If we don't win a state championship, I'll be disappointed. We'll be ready and we'll have a lot of people behind us."