LUMBERTON —As the Lumberton and Scotland baseball teams went pitch-for-pitch Tuesday, base runners were hard to find.
With a combined seven hits between the two teams, Lumberton made the most of its four hits, squeezing out a 2-1 home win as the teams near the midpoint of conference play.
“When we did get a baserunner we made things happen,” said Lumberton coach Paul Hodges. “We got a couple of big key hits and got something together in that sixth inning.”
Combined with Pinecrest’s 5-4 win over Richmond, it bumped the Pirates (7-5, 3-1) to first place in the Southeastern Conference standings and broke the Scots’ (2-5, 2-2) two-game win streak.
At the center of it were the teams’ dueling pitchers.
Lumberton relied on Daniel Oxendine for the first five innings, before handing it over to Justice Sampson in the sixth. The two allowed three hits and the only time Oxendine struggled was towards the later end of his outing.
With a 1-0 lead, he hit Scotland catcher Sam Gray with a pitch to start the fifth inning. Gray later advanced to third on wild pitches and scored on a single by Nolan Pierce, who had two of the Scots’ hits.
Hodges credited Oxendine for keeping the Pirates in the game early.
“Other than that (fifth inning), he was flawless,” he said.
Oxendine missed the decision but made up for it later when he got the go-ahead double in the bottom of the sixth, hitting a liner to centerfield that scored Travis Suggs, who had reached on a walk.
The Pirates’ only other run came in the first inning.
The brief rally started when Bryan Carpenter hit a liner off the glove of Scotland pitcher Grant English. Carpenter reached third on consecutive wild pitches. After Oxendine walked, the Pirates had him get in a pickle between first and second, which allowed Carpenter to score.
From there, English retired 13 of the next 14 batters before Suggs walked to start the sixth.
Scotland struggled to do the same thing.
In three innings, including after scoring in the fifth, the Scots left a runner in scoring position. On the final play of the game, Tripp McDonald crossed home plate as Logan House was thrown out by Lumberton catcher Nolan Locklear on a dropped third strike.
“We knew it was going to be tight,” said Scotland coach Jamie Coleman. “I feel like the difference in the game is that we left too many runners in scoring position.
“We still had opportunities in our last at bat. With two outs, House is up there and he swings on strike three. He just got a little down instead of completing the play and running it out. You never know what happens there.”
Sampson, who is pitching as the Pirates’ closer this year, picked up the win.
Carpenter led the Pirates with a 2-for-3 night, which included singles during both of Lumberton’s scoring rallies. He nearly scored in the sixth but was caught between third and home on Oxendine’s double.
The Pirates’ only other hits came from Oxendine and Sampson.
In other SEC action, Purnell Swett beat Hoke 12-7.
Pirate softball loses to Scotland
LUMBERTON — The Lumberton softball team was again hurt by errors in a 7-2 loss to Scotland.
The Pirates, who drop to 1-3 in SEC play, had four errors, including three in the first inning. The Scots took advantage of it, jumping out to a 4-2 lead that the Pirates never made up.
For Scotland, Avery Callahan went 2-for-4 at the plate and scored two runs. Cameron Sharpe went 1-for-3 with one RBI and a run scored, and Ashleigh Bailey went 1 for 3 with an RBI.
Taylor Hammond and Tori Sealy led Lumberton with 2-for-4 days and Danielle Smith threw a complete game and had a triple.
In other local SEC action, Purnell Swett shut out Hoke with a 4-0 win.
Red Springs wins rivalry game
ST. PAULS — The Red Springs baseball team made a late comeback to beat St. Pauls.
The Red Devils (6-4, 4-3) rallied for four runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh to beat the Bulldogs (2-9, 2-5) in their first matchup of the year.
Austin Brooks provided a key hit, getting a two-RBI triple in the sixth inning and a double by Antwaun McNeill set the pace in the seventh.
Nakoya Maynor led the Red Devils with a 2-for-3 day.
In softball, Red Springs beat St. Pauls 16-3.
Lumberton 2, Scotland 1
Scotland 000 010 0 — 1 3 1
Lumberton 100 001 x — 2 4 1
WP — Justice Sampson. LP — Grant English.
Leading hitters — S: Pierce 2-3; L: Bryan Carpenter 2-3; Daniel Oxendine 1-2, BB, 2B.
Records — Scotland 2-5, 2-2; Lumberton 7-5, 3-1.
Red Springs 7, St. Pauls 6
Red Springs 000 014 2 — 7 6 5
St. Pauls 200 112 0 — 0 4 0
WP — M. Johnson. LP — J. Oxendine.
Leading hitters — RS: Maynor 2-3, Johnson 1-3, Brooks 1-3, 2B; STP: Jacobs 1-4, Thomas 2-4, Thompson 1-3.
Records — Red Springs 6-4, 4-3; St. Pauls 2-9, 2-5.
Scotland 7, Lumberton 2
Scotland 400 020 1 — 7 5 2
Lumberton 200 000 0 — 2 9 4
WP — K. Callahan. LP — D. Smith.
Leading hitters — S: A. Callahan 3-4, 3B, 2 runs, Bray 1-4, 2B. L: Hammonds 2-4, Smith 1-4, 3B, Sealy, 2-4.
Conference records: Lumberton 2-9, 1-3; Scotland 2-2 SEC.