Warriors rally by Wayne Country Day
MERRY HILL – Rolling along.
Lawrence Academy continued their torrid pace as the baseball season neared the midway point when they won their ninth in a row Friday afternoon at home, edging Wayne Country Day, 6-5.
The game was the first part of a Friday double-header with Lawrence hosting St. Frances Academy of Baltimore (Md.) in the nightcap
While the WCD win continued a hot streak for the Warriors, it was the Chargers’ third one-run loss in a row and third time they’d lost to Lawrence by two runs or less.
Cody Ambrose led the Warrior attack, going 2-for-3 and driving in a pair of runs. Zach Eubanks also was 2-for-3 and drove in a run while Jim Porter scored twice.
Right-hander Jesse White got the win, surrendering five runs – only two of the earned – on four hits. Ryan Lilley picked up the save, hurling shut-out baseball for the final two and a third innings while only giving up a base hit.
“Our schedule’s definitely not in our favor,” said Lawrence coach Robert Kravitz, whose team had just played a Tarheel Independent Conference game at Hobgood on Thursday; coming home with a 19-1 win.
“Next week we have six games in five days so we’ve got to keep it together mentally because this was not a pretty game,” he added.
The Warriors had to storm from behind and then hold off a comeback to secure the win.
WCD got two runs in each of the first two innings to put Lawrence in a 4-0 hole, and would have had more, but the Warriors got out of a bases-loaded jam in the second. Then things started to click for the home team in the bottom of the frame.
Back-to-back hits got the first two runners aboard. Ambrose led off with a hot shot back up the middle followed by Perry Wynns’ line drive between third and shortstop. Both moved into scoring position with a double-steal.
Ambrose scored the first run when a pickoff play went awry thanks to a catcher’s throwing error. Eubanks followed that up with a double into the gap in left-center field that brought home Wynns.
J.B. Williams moved Eubanks to third with an infield sacrifice, but the Chargers got the next two batters to end the Warrior threat.
WCD added another run in the top of the third to lead 5-2.
Lawrence would even things up in their half of the third; getting a trio of runs as they sent eight men to the plate.
Charger pitcher Thomas Kireski hit the first two batters, Tyler Brickhouse and Porter. After another double-steal, Brickhouse was able to trot home as the WCD catcher again overthrew the third baseman and the ball sailed into left field and Porter took third.
Darren Armstrong followed with a powerful rip that almost cleared the fence, but instead was misplayed and dropped by the Charger left fielder for a three-base error allowing Porter to score.
Ambrose was next up and his sacrifice fly to center allowed Armstrong to score the tying run.
The Warriors finally claimed the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Porter drew a two-out walk. He went to second on a passed-ball and two batters later came home with the go-ahead run on Ambrose’s double into right-field.
From there the Lawrence pitchers, White and later Wynns, did the rest in shutting down the visitors.
“We were lucky to just stay in the ball game with a team like Lawrence,” said Chargers coach Michael Taylor. “In the end we had a chance to win, but you win some by inches and you lose some by inches.”