Prep Baseball: Blue Comets steal victory from Panthers
Kemp Smith got the exact effort he wanted from his Ledford baseball club Tuesday. The result, however, fell painfully short.
Asheboro rallied for three runs in the seventh, stealing an 8-7 Mid-Piedmont Conference road win at Gary Hinkle Field. It was a much better showing for the Panthers after being run-ruled by East Davidson last Saturday. Still, the finished product was not what they had hoped for.
“It stings because we had our best offensive night and the kids were fighting tonight,” said Smith. “It is tough for them to take a positive away, but that is baseball and things like happened tonight can happen.”
Ledford carried a 7-5 lead into the final inning after picking up an insurance run in the sixth. Victory appeared to be imminent as reliever Bubba White got the first two men out with ease. The four batters following would not be that easy.
Cameron Long doubled to begin the comeback. Down to their final strike, the Blue Comets caught a break when White hit Stephen Pendry to keep hopes alive. A wild pitch advanced both a base, then Nick Hannon smoked a single to score Long. Asheboro coach Tim Murray decided to force the issue and sent Pendry around third. A play at the plate ensued with Pendry sliding in just before the tag of Chaz Shields. Chase Kacinski smacked another double to plate Hannon with the go-ahead run. Kacinski was cut down at third trying to stretch the play into a triple.
Ledford had the leadoff hitter aboard in the seventh but could not move him past second.
“We were fortunate to win tonight,” Murray said. “Nick has been hitting the ball well at practice and I took a chance there. I knew we needed to score the guy to go up. He came through and is very capable of hitting the ball.”
Smith could only tip his cap to the Comets.
“Give them credit. They were down to their last out with nobody on base and they scored three runs with two outs.”
Tied at 4-4 in the third, Ledford took a lead of two that had Smith fired up. Jonathan Turner singled in one, followed by an RBI single by Tristan Lovette. Smith was vocal all night long keeping the energy up from the coaching box at third base.
Asheboro inched closer in the top half of the sixth with a fielder’s choice RBI. Ledford got it back in the bottom of the ining when Duke Boger singled down the third base line scoring Tyler Hall.
Boger, Randy Norwood and Tebo White all had two hits and an RBI for the 7-6, 3-2 Panthers.