ST PAULS —After striking out with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, St. Pauls left fielder Caleb Henderson wasn’t going to let his team down again.
Coming to the plate in the same situation with his team down by one run in the seventh inning, Henderson knocked a walk-off, two-RBI double into the outfield that gave his team an 8-7 win over South Robeson at home after the Bulldogs left 15 runners on base over the course of the game.
“Aaron (Revels) told me earlier in the game not to leave him on base anymore,” Henderson said. “I just had to take that role. I could feel it.”
“Since the beginning of the season, these guys have fought,” St. Pauls head coach Matthew Hunt said. “They showed the same thing tonight. They keep fighting. If it’s a close ballgame like this, the guys believe they can do it.
Isaac Garner finished 2-for-3 with an RBI for St. Pauls (6-9, 4-7 TRC).
South Robeson (2-12, 2-8 TRC) plated one run in both the first and second innings, but St. Pauls erupted to score four runs in the bottom of the third.
Revels kickstarted the rally with a leadoff triple for the Bulldogs. Garner brought him home with an RBI double in the next at-bat.
Austin Locklear hit a two-RBI double later in the inning to continue the surge. He then scored from third base on a passed ball.
The Mustangs quickly responded by plating four runs in the top of the fourth inning, a rally that was capped off by an RBI double by Cody Scott and an RBI single by Jeremiah Lowery.
The Bulldogs pulled a pair of runs together in the fifth after South Robeson pitcher Zack Carter left the game with an injury to his throwing arm.
Quintin Hunt registered an RBI single in the seventh against St. Pauls relief pitcher Marcus Johnson. The hit gave the Mustangs a one-run lead, but they would ultimately leave the bases loaded.
Scott registered three RBIs and walked twice for the Mustangs. Hunt and Lowery both picked up two hits.
The victory served as a form of retribution after the Mustangs beat the Bulldogs 8-7 in walk-off fashion earlier this season.
“We had too many walks. We gave up some walks that ended up hurting us,” South Robeson head coach Ryan Bullard said. “We can’t give up walks in that situation. We’ve got to make them earn it.
“We’ve showed some improvement these past few games since the tournament (Robeson County Slugfest). We scored more runs in this game than we have the last few games. They continue to get better and improve. They’re a young team. You’ve got to execute down the stretch there.”
It was the ninth consecutive loss for the Mustangs. The Bulldogs righted the ship after losing to Fairmont and Hoke in the Slugfest.
In the softball game, St. Pauls defeated South Robeson 16-2 on the road
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.