Baseball falls on walk-off unearned run

By: By Amber Hatten-Staley - Sports editor

LAURINBURG — The Fighting Scots baseball team needed two outs against Lumberton on Tuesday to snap their three-game losing streak.

Scotland entered the final frame with a 7-5 lead over the Pirates but an errant throw to the plate gave Lumberton the walk off 8-7 victory. The Pirates started the bottom of the seventh with a single from Austin Gist before Scots reliever Austin Norton struck out Seth Odum. Lumberton senior Caleb Wilkerson kept the Pirates hopes alive with a single to left scored Gist before Kris Allen was hit by a pitch.

Lumberton’s starting pitcher Parks Ledwell hit a blooper over the head of Scots short stop Daly Marcano who was back peddling to try and catch the ball. The hit by Ledwell gave Wilkerson enough time to come around and score and put Allen on third base.

Pirates catcher Kelvin Ortega then hit a chopper back to the mound, but the throw from Norton to Graham to try and tag Allen out at home was off the mark giving Lumberton the 8-7 walk-off win.

In the early innings it was all Scotland as they scored two runs in the first inning on infield hit by Matt Sellers followed by three walks and an infield sacrifice hit by Stewart Evans.

Scots starting pitcher Michael Johnson kept the Pirates in check, allowing four runs over five innings of work before head coach Chad Hill put in reliever Austin Norton.

Norton finished the bottom of the fifth inning with back-to-back pop outs and kept the Scots lead in tact, but trimmed down to one run.

Lumberton tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a single to center from Aubrey Oxendine which scored Ledwell from third.

Scotland regained the lead in the top of the seventh inning, 7-5, with two outs. Norton drew a walk, the Scots put in Bryce Byrd to pinch run. Evans singled to shallow left to move Byrd to third. The Scots junior scored on a pass ball before senior Trey Armstrong brought Evans around to score on a double to center.

With a two-run lead the Scots weren’t able to get out of Lumberton with a win and their losing streak extends to four games.

The loss moves the Scots to 11-8 overall and 6-5 in conference play while Lumberton 5-11 overall and 3-8 in SAC-8 play.

The Scots were on the road Wednesday in Sanford to play Lee County in a non-conference make-up game and will close out their series with Lumberton on Friday at 7 p.m.

Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]

By Amber Hatten-Staley

Sports editor