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Jackets fall in rematch at Cape Fear

Mar. 23—While Lee County continues to sit atop the Sandhills Athletic Conference standings, and its competition has been extremely strong, the Yellow Jackets have hit a bit of a slump after starting the season 7-0.

Lee traveled to Fayetteville for a rematch with Cape Fear High School Thursday night and dropped its third straight game, as the red-hot Colts claimed an 11-3 victory.

Cape Fear (9-3 overall), which lost 13-8 at Lee on March 4, has been on a tear of late. The win over the Jackets was its sixth in a row, and the Colts came into the game having won three straight contests by the mercy rule. They scored 67 runs in those games and put up double figures again on Thursday.

All of the damage was done in the first two innings. Cape Fear scored three runs in the first and eight in the second for a quick 11-0 lead. Lee got two runs back in the third and scored one in the fifth, but even though it held the Colts scoreless the rest of the game, the best the Jackets were able to do was avoid the mercy rule.

Lee pitchers Dylan Mashburn and Andrew Stanfield were a bright spot on the mound for the Jackets. Mashburn tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings after entering with two out in the second, and then Stanfield tossed a scoreless sixth.

The Jackets got on the board in the third when Will Rannells and Walker McDuffie sandwiched hits around an out to start things off. Later in the inning, Rannells scored on a passed ball and McDuffie came in on a Luke Sheets sacrifice fly.

BJ Brown led off the Lee fifth with a walk, stole second and third bases, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Stanfield.

Lee County had just three hits in the loss. McDuffie was 1-for-4, Joshua Hall 1-for-3, and Rannells 1-for-2 with a walk.

The Yellow Jackets will play three times next week. Lee travels to Pinecrest on Tuesday night and then hosts them Thursday. On Saturday of next week, the Jackets will play Dunkirk High School of New York in a 1 p.m. tournament game at Freedom Christian Academy.