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Warriors, Rams fall at tourney

WILSON – It looks as if one thing is certain.

Greenfield Head Baseball Coach Daniel Johnson can schedule his yearly Greenfield Baseball tournament and you can bet that the rain will follow.

However his luck may have changed just a tad this season. After seeing the annual event washed out completely the past two years he was fortunate enough to get two games in Friday before Mother Nature again played spoiler the final two games of the day.

Johnson and crew were at historic Fleming Stadium at 6 a.m. ridding the field of Thursday night’s downpour and had the playing surface in good shape before the showers returned during the event’s second contest of the day.

These showers forced the umpires to call the game in the top of the seventh giving Fayetteville Academy a 3-1 win over Lawrence Academy. In the opener, Greenfield School took a 7-2 win over Ridgecroft School.

In the first tilt of the day, Greenfield School played flawless defense enroute to a 7-2 win over Ridgecroft.

The Knights grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Taylor Ellis singled to right center with one out and came around to score when Sam Kirk blasted a double over Ram centerfielder Blake Sumner’s head.

Ridgecroft tied the game in the third when Josh Lane walked and Miles Harrell followed with a base hit to left. Chase Riddick beat out a bunt for an infield hit to load the bases.

Lane tried to score from third on a passed ball, but was nailed at the plate but Harrell scampered home moments later on an infield out.

Greenfield answered with a single run in their half of the third as Trevor Haines led off with a walk, went to third as Ram pitcher Miles Harrell’s pickoff attempt sailed into right field and was awarded home when the ball went out of play.

The fifth inning saw Ridgecroft trim the lead to 3-2 when Lane opened the frame by singling to left. Harrell followed with a base on balls and Riddick’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners over.

Lane then was able to score this time as Greenfield pitcher Sam Kirk, who came on in relief of starter Trevor Haines, uncorked a wild pitch.

Greenfield retaliated, however, with a pair of runs in their half on the frame. Chase Whitehead was hit by a pitch and Taylor Ellis drew a walk. Kirk’s single to center scored Whitehead and Ellis score moments later on Robbie Stokely’s base hit.

Greenfield then put the game away in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Joseph Gardner worked Ram relief pitcher Nathan Pearce for a walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Sam Hughes. Taz Pittman added a bunt single and Haines bunt attempt was mishandled by Pearce allowing Hughes to score. Pittman then scored on an infield out and Sam Kirk’s single plated Haines.

Trevor Haines got the win for the Knights (1-0) with relief help from Sam Kirk. Miles Harrell took the loss for Ridgecroft (1-3).

Kirk led the Knight offense going 3-for-3 with 3 RBI’s while eighth grader Robbie Stokely was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Miles Harrell paced Ridgecroft going 2-for-3.

The second contest saw Fayetteville Academy pitchers O.B. Noble and Josh Elmore combine to limit a normally potent Lawrence Academy offense to only two hits in a game shortened to six innings due to rain.

Noble, a lefthander, who transferred from Village Christian, and Elmore, an All-State selection last year, did an excellent job in keeping the two time 1-A state champions at bay allowing only one Warrior runner to reach third.

Fayetteville Academy drew first blood in the third when Charles Smith reached base after the Warrior catcher was unable to hold on to a third strike. Smith took second on Eliot Devarona’s sacrifice and scored on a pair of Warrior passed balls.

Lawrence evened the score in the fourth as Blake Hill walked, went to second on William Norrell’s sacrifice bunt and raced home on Patrick Dilday’s single to right.

The Eagles took the lead for good in their half of the fourth as Elmore doubled to right center, stole third and trotted home on Warrior pitcher Chad Whitehead’s balk.

Fayetteville added an insurance run in the fifth as Smith beat out an infield roller for a hit, took second on a walk to Noble and scored on Cory Renaud’s sharp single to left.

Lawrence launched a mild thread with two outs in the sixth on Scott Edge’s single and a walk to Dilday, but Elmore fanned designated hitter Darren Armstrong to end the inning.

O.B. Noble got the win for the Eagles with strong relief help from Josh Elmore while Chad Whitehead suffered the loss for Lawrence (2-1).

Offensively, Elmore’s double was the big blow for Fayetteville Academy (3-0) while Scott Edge and Patrick Dilday had Lawrence’s only two hits, both singles.