Jackets roll to 17-5 win with huge innings
Lee County won its fourth straight baseball game, with its first three Cape Fear Valley Conference tilts included, with a 17-5 rout over visiting Union Pines Thursday night.
Thanks to all the cold, wet weather, neither the Yellow Jackets (4-3, 3-0) nor the Vikings (3-4, 1-2) had been able to get a game in since last Friday. The Jackets shook off any rust by rounding the bases, a lot, during an eight-run first inning and a seven-run fourth inning.
Union Pines plated two runs in its first frame and the Vikings should've made it out out of the Jacket first holding a lead.
Three errors by Viking infielders out of the first seven Yellow Jacket hitters gave Lee County one run in and the bases loaded with two outs, then the Jackets really took advantage.
Bo Wicker nailed a liner into centerfield for a pair of runners knocked in. Another run came in as Matt Hutchens was hit by a pitch.
Back to the top of the Jacket order, Spencer Faulk flared a base hit into center for two more runs.
Following a wild pitch to put Jackets on second and third, Pressley Hales hit a bloop into right for two runs, making it 8-2 Lee County.
Jacket starting pitcher Hampton Thomas worked around Viking runners in the second and third innings, largely of his own doing as he allowed four walks, to keep Lee County's lead at a safe margin. Alston Scott relived Thomas after three innings and allowed two hits and two runs in the last two innings.
The Jackets gained a double-digit lead by sending 12 men to the plate in their fourth inning.
Without the need of a hit, the Jackets loaded the bases and kept the line moving station to station with an RBI walk by Hutchens, an RBI single by Faulk, an RBI single by Hales, an RBI walk to Nolan Groce, Thomas got an RBI for being hit by a pitch and the first out of the inning was Bethea's sacrifice fly to center for a 16-5 score. A couple batters later, Braxton Toro doubled plating Groce.
Faulk reached all four times he came up, with two singles, a walk and a hit by pitch. He scored four runs and drove in three. Hales and Thomas also drove in three runs each.
The Jackets tallied their 17 runs on nine hits, following up off a 16-5 mercy-rule win versus Douglas Byrd.
For the Vikings, leadoff man Emmitt Carden went 2 for 2 with a walk and scored two runs, including on a straight steal of home in the Viking fourth which briefly chipped the Jacket lead to 10-5.
Union Pines hosts Southern Lee at 7 p.m. tonight in the first CFVC meeting of the year for the Vikings and Cavaliers, although the Cavaliers won a non-conference game 11-4 at Southern Lee earlier this month.
The Yellow Jackets will try to keep their winning streak going at fellow CFVC rookie Terry Sanford on Tuesday night.