Hartsville loses close contest with Lee Academy
By Don Gearhart
The Pee Dee Classic baseball tournament opened at Jimmy White Park in Hartsville with the Harts-ville Red Foxes hosting the Cavaliers from Lee Academy. Neither team scored in the first inning although the lead-off batter for each team singled to start that first frame.
Lee Academy struck first in the second inning. After one out, consecutive base hits and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases. A walk to the next batter resulted in an RBI for the first run of the game. The next batter laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to plate the second run of the inning. The Red Foxes cut that lead in half in their second at bat. Cole Winburn drew a one-out walk and promptly stole second base. He came around to score when John Alexander drilled a ground ball just inside of third
Hartsville limited the Cavaliers to just one baserunner over the next three innings and tied the game in their half of the fifth. Jackson Moore’s grounder to short was overthrown on the play at first allowing Moore to advance to second. He then scored when Dawson McKimmey swung at a third strike not handled by the catcher. On the ensuing throw to first, the ball sailed down the right field line as Moore scampered across the plate.
Logan Arrants led off the Cavaliers sixth inning. After stealing second, a walk put two runners aboard. One pitch later, the Cavaliers pulled off a doubles-steal moving runners to second and third. A shallow flyout to left field was not deep enough to score the run. However, a wild pitch enabled a run to score and another runner to reach third. Another flyout to center could not pro-duce a run either and it looked like Hartsville would escape the inning with just one run scored against them. Then, a bloop fly to right fell between the right fielder and second baseman and Lee Academy took a 4-2 lead. A one-out walk to Damari James and a hit-by-pitch to Andrew Askins put two runners aboard for the Red Foxes. A squib in front of the plate moved runners to second and third with two outs. Moore was then intentionally walked to load the bases. McKendrie Douglas hit a ground ball to second that took a bad hop and the error enabled James to score Hartsville’s third run. With bases still loaded, McKimmey was not able to keep the inning alive.
Lee Academy did not score in the top of the seventh. Unfortunately for the Red Foxes, winning pitcher Jessie Bowers was on fire, striking out all three batters he faced, two on called third strikes. Lee Academy’s 4-3 win was a heart-breaker for the loyal Red Foxes fans.
Winburn pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on three hits, striking out five while walking two. Ace Gibson took the loss giving up two runs on two hits while walking one. Arrants pitched 3 2/3 innings giving up just one run on three hits, striking out four while walking four. Bowers got the win with 3 1/3 innings of two runs on no hits, striking out eight and walking three.