Lawrence dispatches PCA

Published 4:29 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

MERRY HILL – Strong.

When you’ve won four straight state championships it might seem a bit easy to let up on your focus, and not see the purpose in front of you.

Not so for Lawrence Academy’s 2012 baseball team.

Despite dropping their first game, the Warriors bounced back to win a pair of contests in Wilson last weekend and then opened Tarheel Independent Conference play with a 10-0 no-hit shutout of Pungo Academy in their home opener Monday.

Lawrence needed just four-and-a-half innings to dispatch the Raiders.

Cody Ambrose drove in four runs to back up an 11-strikeout performance on the strong arms of J.B. Williams and Drew Williams. J.B. Williams fanned seven while walking just two while Drew Williams had four punch-outs as he also scored two runs.

Only five Pungo runners reached base on the afternoon and only one of those Raiders was able to advance into scoring position.

“They’re really not that bad of a team,” said six-year Warrior field boss, Robert Kravitz, respectfully, of his opponents, “it’s just that we’re playing really great baseball right now.

“We’ve hit the ball well this last week,” he added, “We did everything we wanted to do today and I’m happy about that.”

What made their skipper happy was Lawrence scoring in every inning by spraying the ball to all parts of the field.

Jim Porter drove in two runs, going 2-for-2 including one blast all the way the right field fence that was only about 12 inches short of being a homerun. Ambrose also collected a pair of hits in his duo of at-bats.

The eight-hit attack for the home team also included safeties from Jesse White, Ryan Lilley, Tyler Brickhouse and J.B. Williams.

Dalton Baylor was the starter and losing pitcher for the Raiders.

Lilley got to the right-hander first with a one-out shot up the middle in the bottom of the first.  Porter followed with a high-bouncer over the head of the Pungo shortstop to put two aboard.

After a strikeout, Ambrose lifted a soft fly ball into shallow right field; and with everyone moving, when the leather dropped in, two runs were crossing the plate for a 2-0 Lawrence lead.

The Warriors came back to plate three more in the second inning: Brickhouse walked and moved to third on the two-base error that put J.B. Williams on second base.

After a pair of groundouts, Baylor thought he might avoid trouble, but instead he walked Porter to load the bases. Darren Armstrong also drew a base-on-balls and an easy run-batted in to make it 3-0.

Belch came up next with a two-out liner that brought in another pair of runs to make it 5-0 before a fly-out ended the damage.

Another trio of runs followed in the third.

Jesse White drove in one Porter brought in the other pair with his long two-bagger making it 8-0.  Two more runs in the bottom of the fourth sealed Lawrence’s third win of the year.

“We did what we could,” shrugged Raiders coach John Cutler. “It was our first game and we’ve come a long way since our first practice.”

“Our theme this year,” said Kravitz, “is not to take any of this for granted. These guys can’t just assume things are just going to fall into their laps again.

“It’s just not going to happen like that,” he emphasized.  “They’ve got to work for it.”