Warrior finish third

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 26, 2008

TARBORO – The Warriors of Lawrence Academy finished third in the Tarboro Easter Baseball Classic.

The Warriors defeated Northeastern High School 2-1 in the opening round before falling to Osbourne (Va.) High School 5-4. They then defeated Hobgood Academy 9-4 in the third place contest.

In the opening round game, the Warriors and Eagles each scored in the first inning.

Lawrence got on the board when T.J. Johnston singled and then came around to score on a Chad Whitehead RBI-single.

The game remained tied until the seventh inning when Lawrence picked up the game-winning run.

Joe Harrell had a two-outs single and moved to second on a passed ball. After Evan Holton was intentionally walked, Chase Elliott (a pinch runner for Harrell) raced home on a Johnston single down the third base line, giving Lawrence the 2-1 win.

Daniel Oliver was stellar on the mound for Lawrence, pitching seven innings and allowing a single run on seven hits.

“Daniel and Jonathan (Brantley) gave two of the best pitching performances I’ve had since I’ve been at Lawrence,” Warriors’ Head Coach Robert Kravitz said. “Daniel went all seven against Northeastern and was able to pitch himself out of some jams. He gave a gutsy performance.”

In game two, the Warriors met Osbourne, who Kravitz called the best team he had faced in his years at Lawrence.

Osbourne pitcher Brandon Coffey celebrated his birthday in fine style limiting the usually potent Lawrence Academy offense to only five hits in the second round of the Tarboro Easter Classic.

The Yellow Jackets, a AAA school out of Manassas jumped on LA starter Jonathan Brantley for an early run in the top of the first as Devon Snow deposited a Brantley fast ball high over the center field fence to take 1-0 lead and they would never trail.

Lawrence tied the score in their half of the frame as Holton walked, went to second when the Osbourne catcher’s pickoff throw sailed into right field and scored on Whitehead’s single to left.

The Yellow Jackets scored single runs in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings to take a 5-1 lead.

Brantley led off the bottom of the fifth with a shot that cleared the left field fence with plenty of room to spare, but Coffey retired the next three Warrior hitter to suppress any hopes of a comeback in the inning.

“The Osbourne team was probably the best team we’ve played against since I’ve been at Lawrence,” Kravitz insisted. “I don’t believe in good losses, but to only lose 5-4 to a team that good shows we’re doing some things well.”

In Tuesday’s third place game, Lawrence scored three runs in the third inning and never trailed as they defeated fellow Tarheel Independent Conference member Hobgood.

In that opening frame, Whitehead, Oliver and Blake Hill had RBI-singles to stake the Warriors to a 3-0 lead. They added a run in the fourth on a Johnston RBI-single and one in the fifth on a Joe Harrell RBI-single.

In the sixth, the Warriors got an RBI-single by Oliver and Dillon Ralph belted a three-run homer to establish the 9-4 win.

Holton, Bishop and Johnston paced the Warriors with 2-for-3 days at the plate. Oliver was 2-for-3 and Ralph was 1-for-4.

“I thought we played good baseball in the tournament,” Kravitz said. “The pitching was outstanding. We were okay offensively and defensively.

“We played three good teams,” he closed.