Bat Pats fall 5-2 to South Laurel in season opener

Published 12:16 pm Thursday, March 21, 2019

STANFORD — A strong defensive effort went by the wayside for the Lincoln County baseball team Monday afternoon.

The Bat Patriots held the South Laurel Cardinals to just two hits but couldn’t take advantage, falling 5-2 at home in the season opener for both teams.

Alex Hutti got the start for Lincoln and held South Laurel hitless in his four innings on the mound. He gave up two runs while striking out four.

Lincoln (0-1) outhit the visitors, but mustered just three hits of its own.

Connor McKeehan gave up the three hits, and the two runs, to the Bat Patriots in the complete-game win. He struck out 14 batters and walked one. He succeeded in keeping Lincoln from squaring up balls for hard contact. The Bat Patriots advanced just two runners past second base.

Lawson Hon and Zack Hazlett were the only two Bat Patriot runners getting past second, and both did so in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Lincoln trailed 3-0 when Hon tagged a 1-out single to centerfield. With two batters down, Hazlett reached on a wild pitch and Hon moved around to third. Hon went on to score on another wild pitch with Brady Martin at the plate, then Hazlett scored on a fielding error off a Martin ground ball to make it a 3-2 ballgame.

South Laurel, which was hitless through six innings, tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning to help seal the win. Brady Martin, who replaced Hutti on the mound in the fifth inning, gave up the first hit to the Cardinals as Harrison Byrd connected for a 2-out single to centerfield. Weslyn Wright then followed Byrd at the plate and got the second hit, also a single to center, which scored Byrd. Wright scored later on a JJ Ramey walk.

The Cardinals had the bases loaded up off two walks and a hit batter, which marked the end of Martin’s stint on the mound. Lawson Hon came on to get the final out.

Martin pitched three strikeouts and gave up four walks.

South Laurel (1-0) jumped on the scoreboard first with two runs in the top of the fourth off Hutti, then added one more in the sixth off Martin.

Corey Bentley and Landen Roark earned back-to-back walks in the fourth. Bentley was tagged out advancing home on a Ramey fielder’s choice. Roark moved to third on the play then scored on a Reed Marcum ground out. Ramey made it a 2-0 ballgame when he scored on an error. Ramey scored again in the top of the sixth. He walked to reach then scored from first on a pop fly.

Tagging Lincoln’s three hits in the game were Zack Hazlett, Lawson Hon and Tanner Smith.

*****

At Lincoln Co.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7   R H E

So. Laurel 0 0 0 2 0 1 2 – 5 2 2

Lincoln 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 – 2 3 3

SOUTH LAUREL – Connor McKeehan and Reed Marcum.

LINCOLN – Alex Hutti, Brady Martin (5), Lawson Hon (7) and Tanner Smith.