By VAN HOLLAND
The Lawrence Academy Warriors accomplished their goal in the 20th Annual Tarboro Easter Classic. They wanted to make it back to the championship game for the fifth time in seven years. They accomplished it after fighting back in the sixth and seventh innings in poor playing conditions. With rain coming down nonstop, the Warriors managed to score nine runs in the last two innings to defeat the Bunn Wildcats 9-8.
Lawrence trailed Bunn 6-0 after five innings of play. Bunn scored all six of those runs in the bottom of the fifth inning after they took advantage of three Warrior errors. The Wildcats were able to piece together some timely hits to go along with the errors and score runs.
Lawrence Academy chipped away in the top of the sixth and got two of those runs back when Drew Williams and Patrick Castelow had back-to-back RBI singles.
Lawrence Academy blew it open in the top of the seventh knowing it was do or die. They took advantage of the soggy conditions and made Wildcat pitcher Christian Sledge throw a lot of pitches. He had a tough time with his command and walked six batters. Zach Eubanks pinch-hit for Jesse White with the bases loaded and laced a single to right field to give the Warriors the 9-6 lead.
Bunn scratched two across in the bottom half, but couldn't find a way to score the third run to tie the game.
Ryan Lilley earned the win for the Warriors. He threw the seventh inning and gave up two runs on two hits. He walked one and struck out one that inning.
Sledge took the loss. He gave up seven runs in the seventh inning on just one hit. With the wet conditions, Sledge couldn't find the strike zone and walked four consecutive batters. After two trips to the mound by coach Leonard Allen, the Wildcat pitcher still couldn't find his groove. Sledge is Allen's ace pitcher.
Lawrence Academy will play the winner of the Jefferson Area and Tarboro game. That game was postponed until 10 a.m. today.
Jefferson Forest 3 Timber Creek 0
Taylor Bell threw a five-hit shut out for the Jefferson Forest Cavaliers. He struck out 11 in his complete game effort.
The Cavaliers scored all three runs in the third inning with hits Bell, Cal Hodgert and Tyler Lucy. Michale Doss added a RBI in the inning.
Matt Hershey and Brad Rodier both had a hit apiece for Timber Creek.
Rodier took the loss and only gave up five hits. He walked six and struck out three.