Lawrence secures TIC baseball title

Published 3:24 pm Friday, May 7, 2010

HOBGOOD – It wasn’t perfect – but it was close.

Real close.

Lawrence Academy’s baseball team won their fourth straight Tarheel Independent Conference baseball tournament championship here Monday afternoon in a most convincing fashion over Hobgood Academy, 21-1, on a one-hitter by Scott Edge and Chad Whitehead.

To Hobgood’s credit the lone hit kept the Raiders from being shut out: a solo home run by Robert Turner in the second inning.

Edge struck out nine and other than the long-distance shot, only allowed one other runner to reach base when James Thompson drew a walk in the fourth inning.

Whitehead came on in relief in the fifth and final inning and collected another strikeout for a total of 10 on the afternoon.

The Warriors, who look like they’re rounding into post-season form, banged out a dozen hits, but also took advantage of eight Hobgood errors; scoring a run in every inning and batting around in the final two frames.

“We weren’t sending a message,” said Warriors coach Robert Kravitz, cautiously, “it’s just that the game played here earlier in the regular season was closer than my guys expected and this time I think we wanted to play up to our capabilities.

“We start (the post-season) Friday,” he added, “so hopefully this game will take the momentum into the state playoffs.”

Cameron Peed led the Warrior attack going 4-for-4 with a double and driving in three runs. Patrick Dilday was 2-for-3 with four RBIs and Evan Holton was 3-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs.

Every Warrior player in the line-up scored at least one run, with Holton and Peed scoring four times each..

Lawrence got five runs in the first inning when Holton singled, stole second and scored on Peed’s double. Peed then swiped third base before Whitehead drew a base-on-balls with Peed scoring when Hill reached on a fielder’s choice. The poor throw allowed Whitehead to score the third run.

Norrell followed with a base hit and Dilday then got the inning’s second double to plate Hill and Norrell and a 5-0 Lawrence lead.

With two out in the top of the second, Turner took Edge’s first-pitch fastball over the centerfield wall to make it 5-1 with the only score the Raiders would muster on the afternoon.

After Lawrence got two more runs in the second, they batted around in the third and fourth inning scoring six and eight runs, respectively. In the third, the Warriors collected just one base hit, a single by Peed, but scored four runs on Hobgood errors.

Whitehead drove in the sixth run in the third, Ryan Lilley, who struck out, but reached first base on a dropped third strike that the Raiders catcher threw away into right field. At one point, Lawrence scored five runs in a row.

The Warriors scored four in a row in the bottom of the fourth, again capitalizing on Hobgood mistakes despite two pitching changes by the Raiders. Three-of-four base hits contributed as coach Kravitz began to clear his bench, but the scoring continued.

“They came ready to play and we didn’t.” shrugged Hobgood coach Travis Dew. “I hate it for our seniors because this is their last time on this field but it is what it is, and Lawrence is just such a great hitting team.”

“Hopefully we can keep playing good defense and hitting the ball as well as we have,” said Kravitz. “I think we’ll have great pitching for the post-season.We just have to hope it all comes together because now is the time to do it.”

Lawrence will seek their third straight NC Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship beginning with a home playoff game in Merry Hill on Friday afternoon.