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TIC title to Warriors

MERRY HILL – Judd Whitehead pitched six strong innings and led Lawrence Academy to the Tarheel Independent Conference tournament championship here Tuesday.

J.T. Lilley also had two hits and four RBI’s as the Warriors claimed their third TIC title under head coach Robert Kravitz.

The Warriors opened the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the second stanza.

Chad Whitehead singled to center before Lilley homered to left field, giving Lawrence a 2-0 lead.

Hobgood scored one run in the top of the third inning to get within 2-1.

In the bottom of the third, T.J. Johnston singled to left and went to second on a wild pitch. He got to third when Lilley reached on an error. Johnston scored on a balk, making it 3-1 in favor of the Warriors.

Lawrence scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth frame.

Evan Holton singled to center and scored on a Johnston RBI-double to right-center. Johnston advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Whitehead reached on a two-base error.

Jay Spencer (a courtesy runner for Whitehead) scored on a Chad Whitehead RBI-single to center, giving the Warriors a 6-1 lead after five innings.

Lawrence scored its final three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Johnston singled to center before Chad Whitehead singled to right. Johnston advanced to third on Whitehead’s single and Whitehead moved to second on the throw.

Lilley then had a two-run double to left, scoring both Whitehead and Johnston. Lilley scored on a Gray Harrell RBI-singe to left.

Hobgood scored five runs in the top of the seventh. Jeremy Joyner and Michael Whitehead each had two-run doubles and Daniel Howell had an RBI-groundout.

Judd Whitehead threw six innings for the win, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out seven. Dillon Ralph threw one-third of an inning and Joe Harrell closed the game with the save.

“Judd dominated the game on the mound for us,” Warrior assistant coach Tom Hoggard said. “We hit the ball well today. This was a good tune-up for the state playoffs.”

Lawrence totaled 13 hits with Johnston and Chad Whitehead having three hits each.

Lilley and Gray Harrell had two hits each. Holton, Jake Mitchell and Harrell each had one hit.

The Warriors close out the regular-season 19-5 heading into the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association 1-A state tournament.