The Lawrence Academy Warriors were denied a chance at a fourth straight appearance in the championship game of the Tarboro Easter Baseball Classic by virtue of being defeated by the Jefferson Forest Cavaliers 4-3 in a ten inning thriller Wednesday.
Both teams went down in order in the first inning, then Jefferson Forest put two runs on the board in the top of the second. Jake Kliewer got a walk, and then Alex Bowker was hit by a pitch to put two Warrior runners on base with no outs. Bryan Miller then sacrificed them to second and third base. After a strike out, Cameron Byrd received a base on balls, loading the bases. Cal Hodgert then laced a two run single to center, scoring both Kliewer and Bowker, and putting the Cavaliers up 2-0.
Lawrence Academy answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the second. Cody Ambrose led off the inning with a base hit, the Darren Armstrong followed with a base on balls. After a strike out, then a passed ball that advanced both runners, J.B. Williams drove in Ambrose with an infield ground out, cutting the Jefferson Forest lead to 2-1.
The Warriors tied the game up in the bottom of the third, when following a ground out, Ryan Lilley got a single. He was advanced to second when Jim Porter reached first on a base on balls. Ambrose then followed with his second hit of the game, plating Lilley and knotting the score at 2-2. Lawrence then took the lead in the bottom of the fourth as Perry Wynns reached first via a base on balls, which was promptly followed by a hit by Williams, putting runners on first and second. Both runners were advanced by a sacrifice by Tyler Brickhouse, putting runners on second and third. Wynns scored when the Jefferson Forest catcher threw wild at third, putting Lawrence up 3-2 after four innings.
There was no more scoring until the top of the seventh, when Jefferson Forest managed to tie the game up with a run. Mark Heideman led off the inning with a base on balls. This was followed by a base hit by Christian Sanderson on which Heideman tried to score but was cut down on a great throw from Lawrence Academy left fielder Wynns for the first out of the inning. Antonio Fazio then got a base hit, followed by a hit by Kliewer that scored Sanderson with the tying run at 3-3.
Neither team was able to score in the eighth and ninth innings, but the Cavaliers were able to push across a run in the top of the tenth. Drew Phemister led of the inning with a base hit. Hodgert then sacrificed him to second base. Heideman then plated Phemister with a double, his second hit of the game. This put Jefferson Forest up 4-3 heading into the bottom of the tenth.
With a chance to tie and extend the game, Lawrence Academy went down in order in the bottom of the inning, ending any chances to advance in the tournament.
Jake Kliewer was the winning pitcher in relief for Jefferson Forest, while Ryan Lilley suffered the loss in relief for Lawrence Academy. Leading hitter for Jefferson Forest: Fazio, 3-5. Kliewer, 2-2. Heideman,2-4, with winning rbi. Leading hitters for Lawrence Academy: Ryan Lilley, 2-5. J.B. Williams, 2-4. Cody Ambrose, 2-5.
Jefferson Forest now plays the Bunn Wildcats at 4 p.m. today, while Lawrence Academy plays Padua at 11 a.m.