11-inning thriller

Published 12:24 am Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pike Liberal’s 2008-09 losing streak against the Lee-Scott Warriors in boys’ athletics stretched to six games Tuesday, as the Patriots never led the Warriors on the baseball diamond and lost 12-10 in 11 innings.

“We just never got ahead of them,” PLAS head coach Butch Austin said. “But I was proud of how our guys never quit today.”

The day actually stretched into the night. The AISA No. 1 Patriots (10-2, 5-1 AISA Class 3A, Region 1) and Warriors (9-5) were locked in a tight game that began at 3:30 p.m. and ended at almost 7:30 p.m. in the 11th inning.

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The Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning behind a monster home run and an RBI single, but the Patriots bounced right back and scored thee in their half of the first to tie the score at 3-3.

Bradley Floyd doubled, Will Starling walked and Justin McLaughlin singled. Alex Adams nearly put the Patriots ahead with one swing of the bat when he hit a ball that was inches from being a grand slam. The blast scored Floyd and Starling.

Floyd finished the game 4-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored. Adams was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and one run scored.

Sam Carroll doubled one batter later to score Martin Meeks, who was running for McLaughlin.

Lee-Scott pushed one run across in the second inning and added two more in the third. Adams drove Carroll home in the bottom of the third with a single to cut the lead to 6-4 and PLAS tied the score again in the fourth.

Corey Goodson reached base on an error by the third baseman and scored on a double by Ross Hixon. Hixon later scored when McLaughlin was walked with the bases loaded.

The Warriors kept coming and scored one in the fifth inning, but Pike again tied the score with one run in the bottom of the fifth.

McLaughlin was 3-for-5 in the game with one RBI.

Evan Strother, running for Hixon, scored when Carroll struck out and the ball got away from the Warrior catcher.

Lee-Scott jumped back out in front in the next inning with two runs and Pike sent the game to extra frames by scoring two runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

McLaughlin reached on an error and scored on a single by Hixon. Starling reached on an error to score Hixon for the 9-9 tie score.

Hixon was 3-for-7 in the game with two runs scored and two RBIs.

The teams swapped goose eggs for the ninth and 10th innings before Lee-Scott grabbed a three-run advantage in the 11th. Pike could only answer with one run and the game was over.

Floyd reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Trey Walters.

Bradley Floyd is hit with the loss on the mound. He threw 5.2 innings in relief and allowed three runs, all in the 11th inning, on seven hits. He struck out seven and walked none.

“They just have a good ball team and we knew that coming in,” Austin said. “We had our chances and we didn’t take advantage of them. That was a tough way to lose a region game, but we will bounce back.”

The Warriors have handed the Patriots their only two losses of the season.

Up next for PLAS is a doubleheader on the road against No. 2 Edgewood Friday beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Click here for a photo gallery of Tuesday’s action