Lumberton, Louisiana set collision course in “O” Zone World Series

By: By Brandon Tester - Staff writer
Brandon Tester | The Robesonian Virginia “O” Zone’s Martin Sawyers slides into first base safely on a pickoff attempt by Louisiana pitcher Wes Altic on Monday night.
Brandon Tester | The Robesonian Virginia “O” Zone’s Ben Hiatt throws to first base during a game against Louisiana on Monday night.
Brandon Tester | The Robesonian Louisiana “O” Zone’s Wes Altic takes a swing against Virginia during the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series on Monday night. Louisiana beat Virginia 7-1.

LUMBERTON The Lumberton “O” Zone team wasn’t satisfied when it became the first of the five host teams to get a win at the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series on Saturday.

Gary Carr’s team continued its run by defeating South Carolina 6-3 on Sunday.

“I saw a lot of good pitching and the bats stayed hot,” Carr said.

Lumberton posted two runs in the third inning, one in the fourth and two more in the fifth.

B.J. Lowery went 3-for-3 with a double to lead Lumberton.

“They’ve got a lot of confidence and a lot of momentum,” Carr said.

South Carolina registered just two hits. Its three runs were scored by Cole Winburn, Dewsy Meadows and Treion McFarland.

Lumberton earned a bye on Monday. They will play again on Tuesday at 8 p.m. against Louisiana.

Carr said his players aren’t letting the pressure of moving forward in the tournament get to them.

“We’re trying to keep it out of our heads,” Carr said. “We just keep playing one game at a time.”

The Louisiana “O” Zone team is nicknamed “The Unit” because a new player steps up to lead the squad every night, according to coach Bryan Beck. On Monday night at the Ray Pennington Athletic Complex, that player was Wes Altic.

Altic delivered strong performances both on the mound and at the plate to help Louisiana defeat Virginia 7-1 at the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series.

“He took the ball on the mound and kind of struggled the first inning but kept fighting through,” Beck said. “These guys gave him a lot of confidence, a lot of support. It was just a matter of time. We got their starting pitcher out of the game and we went to work like we always do.”

J’Cory Crowe and Dyson Fields scored two runs apiece to help pace Louisiana offensively.

Virginia leadoff hitter Gavin Fain reached base on a walk in the first inning and came home on an RBI single by Tucker Swails to score his team’s only run of the night.

Virginia managed just two hits against Altic and Justin Szymanski, who came in to pitch the sixth inning. The first hit was Swails’ single and the other was a single by Toby Perkins in the fourth inning.

The teams had to clear the field for a half-hour due to a lightning delay early in the first inning.

“We had a weather delay and had to come back and get ourselves up,” Beck said. “They just know it’s a matter of time before they get unleashed and do what they do.”

Virginia will take on Arkansas at 8:30 p.m. in loser’s bracket action.

“We don’t know much about anybody we play here, other than scouting them a little on Jock Jive and seeing them at the ballpark” Beck said. “We try to worry about what we do best. That’s pitch, play good defense and have quality at-bats.”

Brandon Tester | The Robesonian Virginia “O” Zone’s Martin Sawyers slides into first base safely on a pickoff attempt by Louisiana pitcher Wes Altic on Monday night.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_LouOzone1_ne201886233815568.jpgBrandon Tester | The Robesonian Virginia “O” Zone’s Martin Sawyers slides into first base safely on a pickoff attempt by Louisiana pitcher Wes Altic on Monday night.

Brandon Tester | The Robesonian Virginia “O” Zone’s Ben Hiatt throws to first base during a game against Louisiana on Monday night.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_LouOzone2_ne201886233822680.jpgBrandon Tester | The Robesonian Virginia “O” Zone’s Ben Hiatt throws to first base during a game against Louisiana on Monday night.

Brandon Tester | The Robesonian Louisiana “O” Zone’s Wes Altic takes a swing against Virginia during the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series on Monday night. Louisiana beat Virginia 7-1.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_LouOzone3_ne201886233827908.jpgBrandon Tester | The Robesonian Louisiana “O” Zone’s Wes Altic takes a swing against Virginia during the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series on Monday night. Louisiana beat Virginia 7-1.

By Brandon Tester

Staff writer

Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.

Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.