FAYETTEVILLE — Six Robeson County baseball players showed up to play at the Sandhills Senior Showcase on Sunday at J.P. Riddle Stadium, but only one connected a base hit.
As one of two Red Springs players participating in the game, Jordan Locklear hit an RBI double and drew a walk to provide a highlight in an otherwise lackluster afternoon for the county’s representatives.
The St. Andrews signee’s efforts helped the home team defeat the away team 4-1 in a game that featured senior athletes nominated by coaches throughout the region based on their performance on and off of the field.
“I felt good coming off of the season-ending, first-round exit,” Locklear said. “It was good to get back out here and play with a couple teammates and people around the area.”
He was joined by teammate Phillip Locklear and Fairmont’s Seth Thorndyke on the home team. Phillip Locklear struck out and reached on an error in his two plate appearances while also logging two strikeouts and yielding a pair of hits in 1 2/3 innings on the mound.
Thorndyke flew out in all three of his at bats.
Tyee Sampson was scheduled to be the third Red Springs player in the game, but prior obligations kept the Piedmont International signee off the field.
Three Robeson County players — Lumberton’s Caleb Wilkerson and Kelvin Ortega and St. Pauls’ Aaron Revels — suited up for the away team. The trio went a combined 0-9 at the plate, with Revels reaching base once on an error.
Evan Anderson of Pine Forest gave the away team an early lead with an RBI single in the first inning, and Jordan Locklear’s RBI double for the home team knotted the score in the second inning.
A wild pitch and a throwing error helped the home team score two more runs in the sixth inning, and an RBI single by Daly Marcano pushed the team’s fourth run across the plate later in the same frame.
Marcano, who finished 2-for-3 at the plate and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, was named the game’s MVP. The Scotland senior was awarded with the $1,000 Grainger Barrett Memorial Scholarship.
The showcase allowed all of the players to don their high school uniforms and play alongside familiar faces for a final time.
“It felt good to play with some high school players in the area before I go off to college,” Jordan Locklear said.
It also marked the last opportunity for Fairmont head coach Sandy Thorndyke to coach his son, Seth, who will play at Brunswick Community College next season after taking home Robeson County Player of the Year honors in his final year with the Golden Tornadoes.
“That was one thing I said after the game was over,” said Sandy Thorndyke, who was an assistant coach for the home team. “I said, ‘Remember after last game you said you wouldn’t ever get to play with me again? Well, we got one more game in before it was over.’ It was a lot of fun. No pressure.”
Jordan Locklear had similar feelings about teaming up with Phillip one last time.
“It felt good being able to play together one more time since we’re going our separate ways,” Jordan said. “He’s going to William Peace and I’m going to St. Andrews, so we won’t be seeing each other a lot.”
Lumberton’s Kelvin Ortega throws to first base.
Red Springs’ Phillip Locklear throws to home during his 1 2/3 innings of work on the mound in the Sandhills Senior Showcase.
Robeson County Player of the Year Seth Thorndyke preps to swing through a pitch.
Aaron Revels gets under a fly ball.
Lumberton’s Caleb Wilkerson takes a cut.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or btester @robesonian.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.