Leopards drop season opener at Midway


By Daron Barefoot - Sports Editor



Midway’s Adam Butler sends a shot towards the infield on Friday night.


Lakewood’s Dylan Ivey with a swing on Friday night. He scored Lakewood’s go-ahead run in the first inning.


The Midway Raiders took to the baseball diamond for the second night in a row as they hosted county rival Lakewood on Friday night. The Raiders were coming off a 4-1 victory over Rosewood on Thursday night while this game served as the Leopards season opener. After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Midway took control and gradually pulled away from Lakewood to take home the 7-2 victory.

The Leopards drew first blood in the opening inning as leadoff batter Dylan Ivey was hit by a pitch and moved around the bases for the score. Lakewood led 1-0 heading the bottom of the inning.

Midway answered right back in the bottom of the frame. Greg Nobles led off with a base hit followed by Jake Clark laying down what should have been a sacrifice bunt, but Lakewood couldn’t make a play. Midway’s third batter, Wesley Johnson, hit into an infield sacrifice but the Raiders had runners on second and third with one out. Adam Butler hit an infield grounder that brought Nobles racing home from third and a throwing error allowed him to score the tying run. Lakewood was able to pick up out number two after a strikeout, but the Leopards were in tough spot with bases loaded. Austin Raynor drew a walk to score the runner at third, giving Midway a 2-1 lead before the Leopards finally got out of the jam with a strikeout to end the threat.

The Raiders plated two more runs in the third inning as Landon Dorman and Griffin Williams were moved around the bases to push the Midway lead to 4-1 before Lakewood answered in the top of the fourth inning. Zach Johnson was able to score a run after drawing a walk and advancing around the bases to make it 4-2 Midway.

The rest of the game belonged to Midway, however, as the Raiders would tack on three more runs to push the final margin to 7-2.

The Raiders picked up a run in the bottom of the fourth as Dorman scored Clark on a sac RBI to make it 5-2.

In the fifth inning, Carson Calcutt recorded a 2-out RBI to score Austin Raynor to push the lead to 6-2. Later in the inning, Calcutt would take home plate on a passed ball, making it 7-2.

After the game, Raiders head coach Jason Fussell expressed that he is proud of the solid start that his team is off to so far.

Lakewood head coach, Jay Faircloth, was disappointed with the loss, but noted that his team was faced with a tall order in opening the season at Midway and was still pleased with how his team played.

“This was a very good game. We were in it until about the fifth inning and Midway just pulled away,” Faircloth said.

“I told the boys that Midway is the measuring stick of baseball. Coach Fussell always has a competitive team and you’re going to know where you stand when you play those guys,” he continued.

Faircloth praised his pitchers, Josh Carter and Tyler Poole, on having a solid game and getting off to a strong start but credits nerves as being the team’s biggest opponent in Friday’s loss.

“At first we hit the ball well, we saw it well, but I think our nerves set in and got the better of us. We have the pieces we just have to get ourselves mentally right and do the basics. Defensively we did well, I’m really impressed with our defense, we just have to do better in the box and work harder,” he concluded.

With the win, Midway improves to 2-0 on the young season and will be back in action on Monday night when they host Rosewood.

Lakewood is 0-1 and will be seeking their first when they travel to Union on Tuesday.

Midway’s Adam Butler sends a shot towards the infield on Friday night.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_Adam-Butler.jpgMidway’s Adam Butler sends a shot towards the infield on Friday night.

Lakewood’s Dylan Ivey with a swing on Friday night. He scored Lakewood’s go-ahead run in the first inning.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_Dylan-Ivey.jpgLakewood’s Dylan Ivey with a swing on Friday night. He scored Lakewood’s go-ahead run in the first inning.

By Daron Barefoot

Sports Editor

Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at dbarefoot@civitasmedia.com.

Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at dbarefoot@civitasmedia.com.

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