Spring Hill squeezes past LMS Tigers

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
LMS second baseman Brett McGehee throws out Spring Hill's Bryson Thomas at first base in the bottom of the second inning. Photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Lewisburg Middle School Tigers (2-1) were dealt their first loss of the season on Friday night when they dropped a hard fought 3-2 decision to the Spring Hill Generals on the road.

After Lewisburg rallied from a two-run deficit by crossing home plate twice in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 2-2, the Generals (4-0) pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a perfectly executed squeeze play, which saw Orrin Delk score from third on a sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Adam Westra.

LMS had scored a total of 25 runs in their previous two contests, but finished with a modest six hits against Spring Hill starting pitcher Josh Wilkinson and reliever Taylor Warwick.

Warwick picked up the victory by fanning two batters in one perfect inning of work after Wilkinson notched five strikeouts and yielded two runs on six hits over the six previous frames.

Stuart Warner went 2-for-3 with a double and 2 RBI to lead the Tigers at the plate, while Wilson Limbaugh, Jay Howard, Madison Peete, and Derrick McKnight each had one hit.

"Hats off to their starting pitcher. He kept us off balance most of the night," said Lewisburg coach Oakey Gaskill. "The guys showed a lot of heart and a lot of fight though by coming back late in the game."

LMS starting hurler Josh McKnight turned in a solid performance on the mound, but had to settle for a no decision, allowing two unearned runs on four hits over five plus innings to go along with three strikeouts.

Tiger reliever Trent Richardson suffered the loss by allowing one run on one hit and one walk in 1 2/3 innings of work.

Warrick paced Spring Hill offensively with three hits and 2 RBI, while Delk and Zack King doubled and singled respectively.

Lewisburg stranded two runners at second base through the first three innings of play before the Generals tallied a pair of runs in the bottom of the third with the help of a King single, a Tiger throwing error, and a two-run single by Warwick to grab a 2-0 lead.

Wilkinson held LMS scoreless over the next two innings, but the Tigers clawed their way back into the contest by plating two runs in the top of the sixth to knot the game at 2-2. Following a leadoff double by Howard, Ethan Poteete reached base on a Spring Hill error before both runners moved up 90 feet on a double steal. Warner then drove in Howard and Poteete by lacing a double into left field.

After failing to capitalize on a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the sixth, the Generals threatened again in the seventh, as Delk blasted a double off the left field fence prior to advancing to third with one out on a wild pitch. Brenan Sanders then drew a walk, before Delk raced home when Westra laid a bunt down the first base line to give Spring Hill the 3-2 victory.