Cavaliers fall one run short in late rally

Apr. 4—A frustrating season for Southern Lee baseball continued Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon in the Big Rock Baseball Tournament at West Carteret High School.

On Tuesday, the Cavaliers outhit and committed three fewer errors than the host school, but a rally from down 8-2 came up one run short in an 8-7 loss to West Carteret. Then, on Wednesday afternoon, Southern missed out on its chance to play Person County in the last round of games due to bad weather, and won't return to the field for six days.

Southern, which dropped to 4-11 overall this season, dug itself a 7-0 hole in the first two innings against the Patriots, who host the tournament annually. The Cavaliers finally got on the board in the third inning thanks to a two-RBI single from Caleb Waters that drove in Cooper Moss and Cooper Harrington, but West Carteret answered right back with a run in the top of the fourth to make it 8-2 at that point.

Southern spent the next two innings chipping away. In the bottom of the fourth, BJ Blanks singled with one out, Cameron Richey followed with a double, and then Harrington stroked a single into right to score Blanks. However, neither Moss nor Waters was able to keep the rally going.

In the fifth, Michael and Marcus Blanks reached in between singles by Spencer Stephens and Bryan McCollum, and the Cavaliers kept the comeback going. With one down in the inning, BJ Blanks reached on an error for the second run of the inning and brought the Cavaliers within 8-5. Two of the Blankses executed a double steal, allowing Marcus to score, and then Harrington singled to drive in BJ Blanks and pull the team within 8-7.

The Cavaliers looked set to pull off a huge comeback win, but the fifth-inning rally was halted there. McCollum, who had come into the game as the pitcher in the third, went the rest of the way. He tossed five innings with one run allowed, and gave Southern a chance to fight back.

In the sixth, McCollum and Stephens drew back-to-back walks with two out, but the Cavaliers could not bring either of them home. They went down in order in the seventh, ending the game a run short.

Southern outhit West 10-8 and committed just one error to four for the home team. Harrington went 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI to lead the attack, while McCollum went 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.

The Cavaliers will host Chatham Central on Monday night.