FAYETTEVILLE — Getting one last chance to wear his Purnell Swett jersey, Prentice Urban had one thing on his mind on Sunday playing in the Sandhills Senior Showcase sponsored by Lumbee River and South River EMC at J.P. Riddle Stadium.
As one of nine Purnell Swett seniors playing in the game, it was a chance at redemption for Urban.
“Redemption for not being able to swing the bat a lot this year,” he said. “I just went out there and had fun.”
Redemption was sweet for Urban as he had one of three hits for team South River EMC — made up of 13 players from Fairmont, Lumberton and Purnell Swett — and the hit proved to come in a big spot to help the team defeat team Lumbee River EMC, 4-2. Lumbee River EMC had three players from St. Pauls.
Urban went 2-for-16 this year for Purnell Swett, but on Sunday was effective at the plate with an RBI single up the middle in the fifth inning to score Bladen Strickland against St. Pauls pitcher Ted McNeill. Lucas Oxendine scored during the play on a throw to second to try and get Urban from advancing.
“It was just fun to go out there and play with the boys and play for Coach (Bryan) McDonald,” Urban said.
The showcase wasn’t just the seniors playing final chance to wear their school jersey’s, but one last time for Purnell Swett McDonald to get to put on the Purnell Swett hat and share the dugout with his players. South River EMC coach Jeff McLamb said that as soon as he found out about the addition of players from Purnell Swett to his team that he extended the invitation to McDonald.
“Just like the boys, it was one more time,” McLamb said of having McDonald as an assistant.
South River EMC posted a run in the third inning after loading the bases against J.J. Oxendine when another unsung member of Purnell Swett’s senior class, Richie McCrimmon, left his mark on the game. With the bases loaded, McCrimmon was hit by a pitch to score a run and tie the game at 1-all, setting up Urban’s hit that ended up being the game-deciding play.
“It was fun. I got to play again with my friend and teammates before I go to college,” McCrimmon said. “It’s always fun hanging with them.”
Along with Urban, Lumberton’s A.J. Brooks and Bladen Strickland had the other two hits for South River EMC.
For South River EMC, pitching was handled by four Purnell Swett arms and closed out in the ninth by Lumberton’s Daniel Carter. Lucas Oxendine, Ryan Graham, Ethan Chavis and McKinley Strickland each pitched two innings, with Chavis fanning three batters and allowing one hit in the fifth and sixth innings. Carter came in and struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to clinch the win.
Oxendine, Graham and Strickland each had two strikeouts.
“Everybody threw strikes. We had this plan going in and everybody did their job,” McLamb said. “They threw strikes and we got timely hitting, and won it.”
McLamb said this was a good chance for him to share a dugout with players that have been his competition in the past.
“It was fun. We got to play against the Swett boys that we usually go against because we’ve known them their whole time going there,” he said.
Terry Sanford’s Anthony Lane was named MVP of the game after going 2-for-3 at the plate, and was awarded the Barrett Memorial Scholarship worth $1,000. Lane played on Lumbee River EMC, coached by St. Pauls coach Kelly Chavis.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.