Falcons drop second straight game against Lugoff-Elgin Demons

By Drake Horton, Contributing Writer

Darlington – It was a game where Darlington did more to beat itself than what Lugoff-Elgin did to beat the Falcons.
In 5-1 loss to Lugoff-Elgin this past Friday, the Falcons committed five errors, four that resulted in at least one run being scored and had a pass ball on what should have been a strikeout that ended up turning into a run for the Demons as well.
The first defensive gaffe that caused a run to score happened in the top of the second inning. With the lead off runner on second after an infield single and stolen base, center fielder Mike Dixon bobbled a routine ball allowing the Demon runner to score.

In the fourth inning the second and third gaffes happened and it all started after the pass ball on strike three that would have been the second out of the inning. Instead, it put a runner on first; that is when things really got sloppy.

That extra out proved to be deadly as two throwing errors. Two outs allowed the batter who had originally struck out, but reached on a pass ball, to come around and score, increasing the Demons lead to 3-0.

Lugoff-Elgin scored two more runs in the top of fifth from more of Darlington’s miscues and poor execution.

After retiring the first two batters of the fifth inning starting pitcher Chase Weatherford, who had been pitching strong up to that point, gave up a two-out walk that seemed to set the wheels in motion.

Following the walk the very next batter got the RBI hit Lugoff-Elgin was looking for and it didn’t take long for that batter to score. Right after his hit, a wild pitch from Weatherford advanced him to second, then an error by second baseman Jake Jones allowed him to score pushing the Demons lead to 5-0.

“I thought Chase pitched real well,” Darlington head coach Dennis Gearhart said, discussing his thoughts on how Lugoff-Elgin was able to score its runs. “They had five hits, five runs, (speaking of Darlington) five errors. When you give good baseball teams extra outs they are going to take advantage of them.”

And while the defensive struggles that have plagued Darlington in the past continued against Lugoff-Elgin, the offense was unable to do anything to help.

Offensively for the Falcons it was a struggle all night. While some of it was self-inflicted, like the fourth inning, some of it was just the fact that Lugoff-Elgin was in the right place at the right time and made the plays when it needed to; turning three double plays in the game.

“I thought we hit the ball solid tonight, unfortunately a lot of the times it was right at people and they made some really great plays in the field as well,” Gearhart said, explaining how he thought the night went for his hitters at the plate.

But not all of it was the Demons defense. The Falcons had a great opportunity in the bottom of fourth inning trailing 2-0 and it instead came up empty.

After Jake Jones and Quay Gandy led the inning off with back-to-back singles, Luke Flowers executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to put both running in scoring position with just one out. Darlington, however, was unable to capitalize on that with Mike Dixon popping up to the shortstop and Matthew DeMaurice flying out to center field to end the threat.

Plays like that basically summed up the night for the Falcons at the plate.

With the loss, Darlington is now 5-4 on the year but more importantly it is 0-2 in the region. While that may seem discouraging to some, Gearhart is confident that his team is going to be ok and is heading in the right direction.

“We can’t be too discouraged about it,” Gearhart said, discussing the Falcons’ record. “I know we don’t want to start the season two games down in the region, but I think we are starting to play a little bit better baseball and just looking forward to continuing to get better.”

Weekly Recap

Darlington played in three other games besides the one this past Friday.

In the first game of the week, the Falcons started its two-game series against the Demons going on the road to Lugoff, this past Tuesday, March 13.

Unfortunately it was not the most pleasant of road trips, losing 9-2.

Darlington was back at home the next night to take on the Wilson Tigers. The teams went back and forth with one another, but in the end it was the Falcons coming out on top 11-10 in nine innings. A score was not availablefor the makeup against Manning on Saturday.

Author: Duane Childers

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