Lawrence rolls to round two

Published 2:08 pm Monday, May 16, 2011

MERRY HILL – Lawrence Academy did what they always do.

The Warriors advanced through the first round of the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association 1-A state tournament with a 14-2 victory over Epiphany School here Friday afternoon.

Records on begin in 2000 and since that time, the Warriors have never failed to reach the Elite Eight of the NCISAA state tournament. Only once (2003) did they not advance to the Final Four. In fact, the Warriors have made the championship tournament every year since 2005 and have won three straight state titles.

The quest for number four officially kicked off here Friday when Robert Kravitz’s team, seeded number one in the post-season, topped the visitors from Epiphany.

Dallas Belch and Brandon Smith combined to pitch a two-hitter for the Warriors while Tyler Brickhouse had two hits and six RBIs for the defending champions in Friday’s first round victory.

Lawrence wasted no time, scoring eight runs in the bottom of the first inning to stake out a lead it never surrendered.

Robert Thompson started the scoring by walking and stealing second and third. He then scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-0.

Scott Edge then drew a walk before Jim Porter and Darren Armstrong had back-to-back singles to load the bases. Edge came home on a wild pitch, but Perry Wynns drew a base on balls to reload the sacks.

Cameron Blowe then delivered a two-run single before Brickhouse and Edge each did the same as Lawrence took the 8-0 advantage.

The Warriors added three more in the bottom of the second inning. Those three runs came about thanks to a Brickhouse double that cleared the bases and made it 11-0.

Lawrence plated two more in the bottom of the third inning. Mason Hughes drew a bases-loaded walk and Brickhouse added a sacrifice fly to make it 13-0 in favor of the Warriors.

Epiphany scored one run in the fourth to close the gap to 13-1.

The Warriors then plated their final run in the home half of the fourth thanks to a Taylor Thompson RBI-double.

The visitors added one run in the fifth to establish the final score.

Belch tossed three innings for the win allowing no runs and no hits while striking out three. Smith tossed the final two innings, allowing two runs and two hits.

Lawrence had 10 hits led by Armstrong and Brickhouse with two each.

The Warriors will welcome ninth-seeded Wayne Country Day School today (Tuesday) in a second round matchup. Wayne Country Day topped Wayne Christian School 9-4 in the opening round.

First pitch is set for 5 p.m.