Warriors hold off Cape Fear

Published 10:42 am Friday, April 15, 2011

By Mike Williams


MERRY HILL – Times are changing.

Veteran Lawrence Academy Head Baseball Coach Robert Kravitz stated before his game with Cape Fear Christian Tuesday, “This is a different type baseball team than I have had in the last few years. We are not producing runs in large amounts so we have to make every hit count and take advantage of every situation.”

No truer words could have been spoken as the Warriors could manage only four, hits but made them all count enroute to a 4-2 win over the Cape Fear Christian Thursday afternoon on the Warrior home field.

Lawrence was further hampered by the absence of standout pitcher Scott Edge, a Pitt Community College signee. This left the Warriors with only one senior in their young starting lineup, but the Eagles were equally as youthful starting no seniors and only three juniors.

Lawrence jumped on CFCA starter Dalton Smith for a run in the bottom of the first frame.

Ryan Lilley singled with one out and moved to second on an infield out. After Jim Porter drew a walk, Darren Armstrong’s single to center plated Lilley with the game’s first tally.

The Warriors then padded their advantage with a pair of unearned runs in the second frame.

Jesse White was hit by a Smith offering with one out and stole second. Luke Leary reached first when Eagle second baseman Blake Wall booted his ground ball and moments later he, too, stole second.

Robert Thompson then grounded out to short sending White home. Ryan Lilley hit a chopper to third and, when CFCA first baseman Owen Scarborough could not find the handle on the throw, Leary crossed the plate. However, Cape Fear escaped further damage as right fielder Clint Gregory made a fine diving catch of Perry Wynns’ liner in the gap to end the inning.

Meanwhile, Lawrence starting pitcher sophomore Jesse White cruised through the first three innings retiring the first nine CFCA batters in order.

However, that changed in the fourth inning as Austin Gentry walked to lead off. After Andrew Parrish struck out, Dylan McGee drew a walk and both runners advanced a base on a botched pickoff attempt.

Dalton Smith then lined a wrong field line drive that hit the third base bag for a single scoring Gentry. Jimmy Blackmon executed a perfect bunt for an infield hit to load the bases, but White averted any further damage striking out Gregory and getting Dillon Smith to hit into a force play at third to end the inning.

Lawrence added an insurance run in the fifth as Jim Porter was hit by a pitch from CFCA relief pitcher Clint Gregory. Porter stole second, went to third on a missed pickoff throw and came home on Armstrong’s second RBI single of the game.

Cape Fear Christian threw a scare into the Warriors in the seventh and final inning.

The stanza started innocently enough with Dillon Smith popping out to the catcher and Tyler Horchavy grounding out to first on a checked swing. Blake Wall drew a walk and Austin Gentry lined a single off the pitcher White’s glove. Andrew Parrish drilled a single to right scoring Wall and sending Gentry to third.

With the tying runs on base and the go ahead run at the plate, Dylan McGee grounded into a force play at second to end the contest.

White went the distance to pick up the win on the mound for Lawrence. He struck out five, walked four and allowed five CFCA hits. Dalton Smith took the loss with relief help from Clint Gregory. Smith tossed four innings, giving up three hits and striking out one.

Darren Armstrong paced Lawrence at the plate going 2-for-3 with two RBIs while Jimmy Blackmon was 2-for-3 for Cape Fear Christian.

With the win Lawrence goes to 14-3 on the season.