Yellow Jackets quiet Cavs, 6-0
Every sports fan knows what can be done with win-loss records in a true rivalry.
Lee County (6-11) stopped its four-game losing skid and Southern Lee's (15-4) 10-game winning streak with a 6-0 victory Thursday night at Lee County, a week after the Cavaliers defended their home turf with an 11-1 win.
Yellow Jacket senior Chase Arrington blanked what had been a hot Cavalier offense, firing a four-hitter with 13 strikeouts and one walk.
"Chase has been throwing the ball really well," said Lee County head coach Charlie Spivey.
Arrington pitched well in the Jackets' 6-1 loss at Fuquay-Varina last week, Spivey said, but he'd also been battling through a sore elbow earlier in the season.
The Jackets manufactured the lead in the home half of the first off Cavalier starter Connor Gaines. Taking advantage of an error and a walk with one out, clean-up batter Hampton Thomas hit a sharp grounder by third base for an RBI single, bringing Patrick Bethea around from second.
Lee County capitalized on more Cavalier errors for a huge third inning. Alex Scott reached second on a grounder and wild throw, then came in to score a couple batters later on an Arrington single into left field.
Pressley Hales was hit by a pitch, loading the bases still with no outs. Matthew Pearce hit what could've been a double-play grounder only for Cavalier shortstop Jared Kehagias to bobble the ball. A Jacket run scored and the Cavs still faced bases loaded and no outs. Nolan Groce followed with a fly down the left field line, which fell just past Connor Showalter's dive, and two more Jackets scored.
Christian Wenger relived Gaines and ended the Jacket third, but not before Lee County led 6-0.
Wenger kept the Jackets quiet the rest of the evening, as he pitched 4.0 shutout innings, allowing one hit and one walk.
Arrington was too tough the whole way, including once the Cavaliers loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth.
Derek Jackson and Cullen Boyette singled, followed by a walk to Wenger. The Cavaliers were a swing or two from being right back in the game only for Arrington to fan the next three Cavs.
Counting the three strikeouts to squelch the Cavalier fourth, Arrington retired the last 12 hitters he faced.
"(Southern Lee) didn't play very well. They came in on a big-time roll and the errors they made helped us but we'll take it any way we can get it right now," Spivey said.
"We put the ball in play when we had to and that helped us," Spivey said.
Arrington went 2-for-3 with a double, a run and an RBI. Thomas and Pearce had a run and an RBI apiece.
Jackson went 2-for-3 and was the only Cavalier to have a two-hit game.
"Hopefully this gives us momentum for the rest of the season," Spivey said.
Lee County faces a road test at Cary Friday night at 7 p.m.
Southern Lee's Cape Fear Valley game against Union Pines has been pushed from Friday night to Saturday at 7 p.m. at Tramway Road Park. The Vikings topped the Cavs 7-4 in Cameron on March 19. Southern Lee (7-1 CFVC) is atop the CFVC race by a half-game over the Vikings (6-1) and Gray's Creek (7-2) through Thursday night's schedule.