LMS Tigers win ninth straight game

Friday, March 17, 2017
Blake Moreland throws a second inning strike during the Tigers nine-run win at Eagleville Friday night
Photos by Mike Inglsbee

St. Patrick's Day was celebrated a little early in Eagleville on Friday night as Lewisburg Middle School donned its holiday inspired green jerseys in a battle against the Eagles on a frigid Rutherford County night.

But the Tigers did not need the luck of the Irish on this night, scoring five third inning runs to win going away 10-1.

"Well just like most of the year, our pitching was solid once again," LMS coach Beau Hardison said. "We aren't where we need to be yet, but we're getting there."

Christian Stacey singles to left field during the fourth inning of the Tigers’ 10-1 win at Eagleville Friday night.

The LMS pitching trio of Blake Moreland, Ryan Kirby, and Logan McKnight shut down the Eagles offensive attack, finishing with a combined three-hitter which each pitcher giving up just one hit.

Kirby also led the Tigers on the offensive end with four quality at-bats including a walk, three hits, and an RBI. Caleb McElhaney led the Tigers with three RBI and J.W. Beasley added two.

Moreland contributed another solid Tiger pitching performance, tossing four innings of one-hit ball to go along with a game-high four strikeouts before giving way to Ryan Logan after facing one batter in the fourth inning.

LMS third baseman Caleb McElhaney fields a ground ball before throwing out the runner at first base to end the third inning.

"I don't think Moreland was as sharp as usual," Hardison stated. "He walked four and threw 68 pitches in four innings, but he got the job done. On a cold night he did all he could do and that was definitely enough pitches."

The Tigers were entrenched in a tight 1-0 ballgame heading into the third inning before Carson Cheek and A'Ky Howard both reached on Eagleville errors and Peyton Graves moved the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.

Ryan Kirby reached on a walk and Beasley drove in a run on another Eagle error before Zach Graves knocked in a run on a fielder's choice RBI to second base to push the score to 3-1.

Zach Graves drives home a third inning run in the Tigers 10-1 romp.

Christian Stacey was hit by a pitch to reload the bases, setting up McElhaney to drive home two more runs on a hard hit single to left field and a McKnight single to right drove home the last run of the inning for a 6-1 LMS lead, heading into the fourth inning.

"I think just seeing the pitcher the second time through the lineup allowed us to start hitting the ball better," Hardison said. "I think we had something like 12-13 hits. You are going to win most games with that many hits."

The Tigers weren't finished yet after sitting down all three Eagle batters in the fourth inning, starting off the batting cycle in the top of the fifth inning with a Peyton Graves infield single and Kirby laced an RBI double into left field for the 7-1 advantage.

Beasley ripped a single into right field to score Kirby before McElhaney grounded out to second base, but allowed Beasley to extend the score to 9-1 heading into the fifth inning.

Mason Collins capped off the night with a walk to start the sixth inning, before stealing third base and home to tack on the final Tiger run of the night and the squad from Lewisburg returned home with the 10-1 victory for its ninth win in a row.

The Tigers’ final games of the regular season, a doubleheader against Columbia Academy, were rained out on Monday and a make-up date is being explored before LMS finishes of the 2017 campaign in its league tournament on April 7-8.