Falcons spoil Lamar’s senior night
By Drake Horton
After having its own senior night spoiled the previous Monday, the Darlington Falcons did a little spoiling of its own on Monday, April 20, beating the Lamar Silver Foxes 4-0 in Lamar on its senior night.
The win was Darlington’s second of the year over the Silver Foxes, completing the season sweep over Lamar and while on paper the matchup may have seemed somewhat of mismatch, that was far from the truth.
This game ended up being just as close as the first time when these two met back up on March 11th in Darlington with the Falcons winning that contest 5-4.
For six complete innings this game was a thing of beauty from the pitcher’s mound with Lamar’s Collin Jordan and Darlington’s Eric Dubose going pitch for pitch as the Falcons only held a slim 1-0 lead.
It was in the top of the seventh that Darlington found some success, scoring three runs, giving reliever Bryant Huggins all the run support he needed to seal the deal for the Falcons over Lamar.
But while Darlington was able to shut Lamar out on the scoreboard that did not mean the Silver Foxes did not have any opportunities to change the complexion of the game.
The first major opportunity for Lamar came in the bottom of the fourth inning with the Falcons clinging to their 1-0 lead. The Silver Foxes loaded the bases with just one out before Dubose settled down, striking out the next two batters, getting out of the jam.
“Eric kept us in the game,” Darlington baseball head coach Billy Sylvester said on Dubose’s performance. “Eric threw the ball good. He was on three days rest after throwing three or four (innings) at Lakewood the other night. He came in, did well, and then Huggy (Huggins) came in and did good.”
Lamar’s scoring opportunities did not end there, however. After getting a double by Rashard Coleman to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning, Darlington decided to change pitchers, bringing in Huggins, who finished the duration of the game.
“Offensively, it just doesn’t seem like we really have anybody that wants to be up there in a big situation right now,” Lamar baseball head coach Adam Windham said on his team’s inability to score with runners in scoring position. “It’s like we rather walk or let somebody else try to do it instead of getting it done ourselves. So right now we are just struggling with being aggressive when we have a situation when we have to get runners in.”
After moving Coleman over with a sacrifice bunt by Audy Tedder, Lamar rolled the dice, attempting a suicide squeeze with Luke Amerson at the plate, hoping to tie the game up a one. Unfortunately for the Silver Foxes that plan failed as the attempted bunt was missed leaving Coleman hung out to dry at home.
Those failed attempts finally turned into opportunities for Darlington as the Falcons scored three runs in the top of the seventh off of reliever Daniel Galloway, sucking any life that was still in the Silver Foxes completely out.
Darlington’s first came in the second inning when Taylor Spangler, who had walked, stole second and advanced to third on a balk ended up scoring on an infield single by Collin Bonnoitt.
“I haven’t been batting lately and I was just looking for a fastball to come in and he (Jordan) came in and I pulled it and it found a hole,” Bonnoitt, who went 2-3 with a RBI, said on his second inning at bat.
Following the second inning, the Falcons offense went stagnant for the next four innings as Jordan kept the Darlington hitters off balance at the plate. It was not until the seventh inning, when back to back throwing errors by Lamar, left two runners on for Ladson Carter, who hit a two RBI double scoring both runners.
“I was just looking for a pitch to go backside with,” Carter said, discussing his at bat in the seventh inning. “I know I’ve been trying to pull it (baseball) and I decide to wait back and spray one backside.”
The Falcons other run of the inning came when Cayde Weatherford hit a RBI single up the middle.
Huggins struck out two of the three Lamar hitters he faced in the bottom of the seventh , sealing the deal and earning the save as Dubose picked up the win.