LUMBERTON — A Sunday morning pep talk was all it took for the Lumberton Majors team to find their rhythm at the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series at the Ray Pennington Athletic Complex.
Hours before the team was scheduled to take on Texas in the first round of loser’s bracket play, coach Butch Campbell had a heart-to-heart conversation with his team.
“I think our guys had the first day jitters yesterday,” Campbell said. “We went to church this morning and had a good little service, and I had a chance to speak with them and get those jitters out.
“I gave them a good pep talk this morning and I told them this is what we use our whole summers for. We practiced the whole summer to win. We didn’t want Texas to come all this way and beat us in our own yard.”
Lumberton went on to defeat Texas 8-2 after a 16-4 loss to Georgia on Saturday pushed the host team to the brink of elimination.
Lumberton registered a combined seven hits against three Texas pitchers. Tashuan Stocks finished 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, Carson Phillips went 1-for-3 with an RBI and Daniel McLean notched an RBI single in his only appearance at the plate for Lumberton.
“We were a little more aggressive with the bats and a little more aggressive on the bases,” Campbell said.
Kaden Revels, Chatler Maynor and Stocks threw a combined three-hitter for Lumberton.
“We did really good on the mound. I still saved my pitching,” Campbell said. “I used two of my really good pitchers this morning, but I didn’t exceed their pitch count so I’ll be able to bring them back again tomorrow.”
An RBI single by Dallas Whiteside gave Texas the first run of the game in the first inning. Stocks evened the score by coming home with the help of a throwing error in the bottom of the inning.
Lumberton took the lead with an RBI single by McLean in the second inning. Stocks hit an RBI double in the third to increase the host team’s lead to 3-1, and he came home later in the inning after a passed ball and throwing error on the same play costed Texas two runs. Lumberton added another run on an error to cap off its third-inning rally with a 6-1 lead.
Revels scored on a passed ball and Phillips notched an RBI single in the fifth inning to push Lumberton’s lead to 8-1.
Keden Dixon scored Texas’ second and final run in the sixth inning.
Lumberton will face Virginia at 3:30 p.m. on Field 2 on Monday. Virginia defeated Arkansas 12-2 on Sunday.
Campbell said his team plans on sticking around for a while.
“We’re going to be as aggressive as anybody,” Campbell said. “I think we can do it. I think we’ve got several more games in us. We’re in it to win it.”
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.