Lost ball dooms Patriots in 5-4 loss to Knights

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Sports Editor

Macon-East’s Jordan Mills used a lost ball in the Pike Liberal Arts School outfield to come around for an inside-the-park home run, as the visiting Knights beat the Patriots 5-4 in an AISA regional contest on Monday.

Down 4-2 in the sixth, with two runners on and two outs, Mills ripped a Brandon Hooks’ pitch into left field where a diving Luke Sanders attempted to make the grab. Sanders went into foul territory and came up searching for the ball, which had become hidden in a pile of red dirt along the outfield fence. By the time Sanders’ brother, Layton, coming over from shortstop, had found the ball and made the throw to Pike catcher Wes Johnson, Mills and the other two Knights’ runners had scored.

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In PLAS’s at-bat, the Patriots got Brady Dunn on first with a walk and Luke Sanders moved him over on a sacrifice bunt. Scott Kirby singled to reach and an intentional walk issued to Hooks loaded the bases.

At third, Dunn tagged up and took off for home on a long fly out hit by Layton Sanders, but the throw from the outfield was on the mark to the Macon-East catcher, who took the charge from the junior and held on to the ball for the final out.

Pike’s last gasp came in the bottom of the seventh, as with two outs Drew Kilpatrick took advantage of a fumbled ball by the Knights’ first baseman to reach and Bill Hughes singled to advance the tying run. But Dunn was called out on strikes to end the game.

The loss dropped the Patriots to 13-7 on the year overall, but did more to damage their playoff hopes. PLAS stands at 2-5 in region play.