Warriors edge Northeast

Published 5:16 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2011

MERRY HILL – It may not be long-ball, but it’s just as effective.

A year ago after a dozen games, the Lawrence Academy Warriors had won over half those contests by double-digits.

This season, so far, wins of 10 runs or better have come – let’s say – a little more modestly.

Monday was a good example as the Warriors notched their ninth win of the year, 2-0, over Tarheel Independent Conference rival Northeast Academy at Merry Hill.

Lawrence right-hander Scott Edge twirled a masterful shutout, painting the corner with his fastball enroute to a 15-strikeout afternoon while giving up just three hits.

Teammate Ryan Lilley was 1-for-3 and drove in both Warrior runs while both Darren Armstrong and Perry Wynns were 2-for-3. Tyler Brickhouse and Jesse White scored the Lawrence runs.

“Small-ball, or whatever you want to call it,” said coach Robert Kravitz, “everybody this year is going to give us a run for our money.

“We’re not the dominant team we’ve been in the past,” he added, “but we’ve got to learn to win two-zero ball games, and we did that today.”

Eagles right-hander Austin Bryant was no slouch with his effort; giving up two runs on eight hits with just one walk and five strikeouts in being saddled with the loss.

How close was the contest in the early innings?

Both hurlers faced eight batters through the first two innings and each had just two runners reach base, though Wynns did collect a two-out double off Bryant.

After Edge struck out the side in the visitor’s half of the third inning Lawrence went to work getting on the scoreboard.

Brickhouse led off the bottom of the third with a base hit to right field. White followed with a sacrifice bunt down the first base line, but the alert Brickhouse kept running on the play all the way to third and later scored on Lilley’s sacrifice ground-out to make it 1-0.

In the top of the fourth, it looked like the Eagles would get the equalizer. Clay Robbins ripped a one-out double into the gap in left center field and later went to third on a passed ball. Bryant drew a walk to put runners on the corners but a pop-up and a strike-out ended the threat.

In Lawrence’s half of the fourth, Edge led off with a single, but the next batter killed the threat when Northeast turned a double-play. Two base-hits and a walk would load the bases for the Warriors with two-out, but Bryant stifled that scoring attempt by getting a strikeout.

In the bottom of the fifth, White led off for Lawrence with a base hit and stole second base before Lilley’s gaper that rolled all the way to the wall scored him to give the Warriors a two-run cushion.

Northeast threatened in the sixth when Ryan Williams got the Eagles’ second extra-base hit of the game and went to third on a passed ball. But Edge silenced NEA’s hopes by stranding him there thanks to a pair of strikeouts and a pop-up.

The Eagles made some noise in the seventh as well, getting back-to-back base hits before Edge got the final out of the game with his fifteenth strikeout.

“We were almost there,” said Northeast coach Monty Hus, shaking his head then nodding toward the Warrior dugout, “but they’re still a solid team and we’ve had trouble all year getting runners in.”

“We’ve got to learn to win these types of games,” said Kravitz. “We’re not going to blow anybody out much this year and if we can continue to win 2-0 ball games, I’ll be happy.”

Lawrence faces a road game at Hobgood today (Thursday) before beginning a five-game homestand beginning with a return match-up Saturday at home against Greenbrier Christian of Chesapeake, Virginia.