Not exactly compiling a work of art, Hunters Lane still managed to secure an opening round victory in the District 12-AAA baseball tournament.
The host Warriors thumped Whites Creek 10-3 Thursday afternoon in the single-elimination segment of the tournament and advanced to play Antioch Monday at McGavock High when double-elimination starts.
Hunters Lane (14-8) used a 12-strikeout showing by MTSU signee Robert Lawrence, who pitched a four-hitter through six innings.
“Hopefully, this will give us a little momentum going into next week,’’ said Lawrence, who was also 3-for-4, with two singles and a double with three runs scored as the Warriors’ leadoff batter.
Asked if it was his best-pitched game, he said, “this would have to rank right up at the top. My breaking ball was working pretty well.’’
Lawrence was backed up by stocky shortstop Todd Faught, who had two doubles and three RBIs, and No. 9 batter R.C. Lewis, who belted a two-run homer over the left-field fence in the fourth, giving Hunters Lane a 5-1 lead. Lewis also scored twice.
“It was a fast ball down the middle,’’ said Lewis, Hunters Lane’s football quarterback who will walk on to play at Alabama-Birmingham. “I was just trying to get on base, just get our team going,’’ said Lewis, whose initials stand for Randal Carnell.
The Warriors also stole six bases and benefited from four Whites Creek errors.
“We were flat as a pancake the first couple of innings,’’ said Hunters Lane coach Bubba Spears. “I’m glad we finally woke up. If we don’t play better than this next week, we’re going to be out of the tournament in a hurry.’’
Whites Creek’s Todd Woodard scored one run and drove in another, Ryan Randolph stole three bases, and Bryan Keen had two of the Cobras’ five hits.
“We’re a young team, we have just three seniors,’’ said fourth-year Cobra coach Antoine Buchanan. “The future is in the Keen brothers, (infielders) Bryan and Chris.’’
Antioch drilled Glencliff 10-0 in five innings in the Bears’ 12-AAA opener as Josh Holcom fired a one-hit shutout to go with a balanced attack.
On Monday, Hunters Lane plays Antioch at 4 p.m., and top seed and host McGavock plays the winner of the Maplewood-Stratford game at 7. The two losers plays Tuesday at 4, followed by the winners bracket at 7.
Softball: Host Hunters Lane drilled Maplewood 16-1 in the Warriors’ District 12-AAA tourney opener Thursday. Ashley Tinch picked up the win, and Patricia Manier and Felicia White had three hits each.
Hunters Lane hosts the double-elimination part of the tournament, opening Monday. At 4:30 p.m., the Warriors will play Antioch, which had a forfeit win over Stratford, following a matchup at 2:30 p.m. between top seed McGavock and Whites Creek.