Warriors Survive Round One
WASHINGTON – Coach Robert Kravitz let his reserves start the opening game of the Tarheel Independent Conference baseball tournament as his team faced huge underdog Pungo Christian Academy.
After his team came through with a 14 – 9 victory against a surprisingly resilient Raider squad, Kravitz pleased with what he saw.
&uot;I was really impressed with the character of our younger players.&uot; Kravitz stated, &uot;Pungo came out strong, but our guys stayed within themselves and got the job done.&uot;
The Pungo squad, who had gotten hammered by the Warriors in an earlier meeting this season, came out on fire, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning and adding two more in the top of the second before Lawrence Academy could get on the scoreboard.
After the rough opening for T.J. Johnston, who started on the mound for the Warriors, Kravitz gave the ball to Gray Harrell who managed to slow down the Pungo attack until the Warriors could get their bats going.
After being shut out in the first, and down by six runs in the bottom of the second inning, Lawrence Academy began to get offensive as Chad Whitehead, Joe Harrell, Max Walker and Gray Harrell all scored to cut the Raider lead to two runs to start the third.
In the third, Whitehead crossed the plate for the second time in as many innings and was joined by teammate Johnston to tie the game up at six apiece.
It was the fourth inning where the Warriors broke the game open getting seven hits and drawing two walks to put six more runs on the board and take a commanding lead, after Harrell surrendered only one run in the top of that inning.
A determined Pungo squad would not go away without a fight, putting up two more runs in the fifth inning to close the gap to three runs.
Said Kravitz, &uot;We got a little complacent after we took the lead. I was counting on my starters to be a little more vocal supporting the team that was on the field. We seemed to be kind of coasting along and I was not enthused about that at all.&uot;
Despite what Kravitz called a &uot;lack of dugout support,&uot; the team he fielded managed to score insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings to secure the victory, as Harrell’s performance on the mound was enough to hold the Raiders at bay. Kravitz was still beaming about his team’s play if not their enthusiasm.
&uot;Gray did a great job today. His curveball really kept them off balance in the late innings.&uot; Kravitz added. &uot;We also got some timely hits from J. T. Lilly and Zack White that helped put us over the top.&uot;
The Warriors met Hobgood Academy in the title match on Wednesday.