Warriors fall in finals
WILSON – Another heartbreak.
For the third consecutive year, Lawrence Academy came ever so close to that elusive North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association state 1-A championship.
After Wayne Country Day School built a 4-0 lead in the third and deciding game of the state title series, Lawrence rallied to within 4-2 and had the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, but came up just short.
Trailing 4-1 heading into the final half of the final inning, Lawrence scored one run.
With one out, Chad Whitehead singled to right. J.T. Lilley then reached on a fielder’s choice for the second out.
Lilley moved to third on a Jake Mitchell single to center before Gray Harrell walked to load the bases.
Lilley scored on an Oliver RBI-single to center to get the Warriors within 4-2, but a pop fly ended the game.
Wayne Country Day opened the scoring with one run in the top of the second. Kevin Herring had an RBI-single that pushed Travis Ford across and gave the Chargers a 1-0 lead.
Wayne Country Day added another two runs in the top of the third inning on a Ryan Ford RBI-double and a Trent Langston RBI-single. Those two scored gave WCD a 3-0 advantage.
The Chargers scored their final run in the top of the fifth frame when Travis Davis hit a solo homer to left, giving his team a 4-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Warriors threatened with one out when Evan Holton singled to left and T.J. Johnston had a base hit to center.
With two out, Chad Whitehead reached on an error to load the bases. The threat was quelled, however, when the Warriors grounded into an out to end the inning.
Lawrence finally scratched with a single run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Mitchell singled to center and moved to second on a balk. After an out, he took third when Daniel Oliver reached on an error.
Joe Harrell then delivered an RBI-single to left scoring Mitchell and making it a 4-1 game. A fielder’s choice and a pop fly ended the inning.
Judd Whitehead tossed two innings to start the contest for the Warriors. He allowed two runs on four hits while striking out one. Dillon Ralph tossed the final five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out two.
Trent Langston pitched six innings for the win for Wayne Country Day, allowing one run on eight hits.
Lawrence was led offensively by Mitchell, who was 3-for-4 while Evan Holton was 2-for-4. Oliver, Johnston, Judd Whitehead, Chad Whitehead, Lilley and Harrell had the other hits for the Warriors.
(ncisaa.com co-editor Mike Williams contributed to this story.)