LAURINBURG — In six innings of work Fighting Scots senior pitcher Daly Marcano saw Pinecrest senior Nick Pry in the batter’s box on Friday in Southern Pines.
Twice Pry made Marcano pay for hanging a pitch with a double off the center field wall in the bottom of the first followed by a two-run home run in the bottom of the third.
An error by the Scots defense on a throw to first base in the first allowed Pry to score from third to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead.
In his second at bat, Pry turned on a pitch and hit a two-run home run which put Pinecrest on top 3-2. Pinecrest added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth led off by a single from Pes Ostert, a walk to Bryce Calcutt and a single by Austyn Vest drove in Ostert to give the Patriots a three-run lead, 5-2.
Calcutt got caught in a force out and a sac bunt by Jordan Moss gave Scotland two outs, but the bases quickly filled up as Elliott Embler was hit by a pitch and Dax Ingram hit into a fielder’s choice. Marcano wasn’t taking any chances the third time Pry came to the plate the Scots intentionally walked the reigning Player of the Year.
With the bases loaded, Scots head coach Chad Hill went to the mound to talk with Marcano and his defense. Marcano got the final out of the inning as Zach Pruitt hit a ground ball back to the mound. The Scots senior flipped the ball to catcher Zac Phillips for the force out at home.
Despite two runs in the top of the second inning a walk to Phillips, a single from senior Trey Armstrong and a fielding error by Pinecrest on an infield hit by freshman Stewart Evans scored Armstrong from third. A sac fly by Graham scored Byrd, who was pinch running for Phillips to give the Scots a 2-1 lead. Pinecrest changed pitchers ad junior Davis Wilson’s outing was cut short. He was replaced by senior Garrett Clark who threw the remaining five innings.
Clark threw a shut out allowing zero runs off one hit with four walks and six strikeouts. Wilson allowed two runs off two hits with two walks and a strikeout.
After the second inning, the Scots offense sputtered with ground outs, strikeouts and near misses. Junior Austin Norton nearly took both Pinecrest pitchers over the wall for home runs, but came up a few feet short each time.
Marcano held the Patriots in check, but the damage was already done. The Scots senior threw a complete game allowing five runs off eight hits with four errors, two walks and four strikeouts.
With the loss, the Scots move to 11-7 overall and 6-4 in conference play while Pinecrest improves to 15-3 overall and 9-1 in the SAC-8 standings.
The Patriots sit atop the SAC-8 with Jack Britt and Hoke County tied for second at 7-3 while Scotland and Richmond are knotted for third place at 6-4. Purnell sits in sixth at 3-7 followed by Lumberton at 2-8 and Seventy-First rounds out the league at 0-10.
Scotland travels to Lumberton (2-8) on Tuesday before hosting the Pirates on Friday for their two-game stint. Both games are slated to begin at 7 p.m.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]