The Midway Raiders baseball team welcomed an old foe, the Lakewood Leopards, into Spivey’s Corner on Friday Night for some non-conference action. Midway, coming off two losses to Rosewood, picked up their first win of the young season with a 7-5 victory over the Leopards.
In the top of the second inning, Lakewood was able to move Devin Rosenberger around the bags to claim a 1-0 lead.
Midway answered in the bottom of the same inning, getting Landon Dorman and Chandler Williford around the bases to claim a 2-1 lead.
The Raiders added to their lead in the third inning, bringing Dylan Hardison and Dorman around the bases for a 4-1 lead.
Lakewood was able to cut into the margin in the top of the fourth inning. Rosenberger led the inning off with a single up the middle, then took second on a wild pitch. Jeremy Sessoms sent a single of his own into center field, advancing Rosenberger to third base. After a Raider pitching change, Sessoms advanced to second base and Rosenberger scored following a wild pitch by Dylan Hardison. Hardison went on to retire the side but Midway’s lead was 4-2.
Midway again responded in the bottom of the inning. Dustin Holland drew a walk to start the inning, then took second on a passed ball, and again advanced on another passed ball. Austin Peterson singled up the middle, bringing Holland in for the score. Following a Leopard pitching change, a couple of ground balls by Austin Raynor and Jake Clark would bring Peterson in for another score. The Leopards finally retired the side, but Midway’s lead had grown to 6-2.
After a scoreless fifth inning, the Leopards showed great fight in the top of the sixth. Rosenberger was able to get aboard so start the inning, then advanced to second base on a passed ball two batters later. Lakewood had runners on first and second after Tyler Poole drew a walk. With two outs, Chandler Ray reached first base on an errant throw that would have ended the inning. In the exchange, Rosenberger came home to score a run, and Poole was able to advance to third. Zach Tanner then stepped to the plate and hit a single, scoring Poole.
All of a sudden, the tying run was at first. Spencer Ray then delivered a single, scoring Chandler. Hardison was finally able to strike out Tristan Holmes to put an end to the Lakewood spurt, but the Leopards had new life, now trailing only 6-5.
In the bottom of the same inning, Midway was able to add an insurance run. Peterson drew a walk to lead off the inning, then stole second. Matthew Nunnery hit a grounder that moved Peterson to third base, who then took home an errant pick-off attempt.
Leading 7-5 in the top of the seventh inning, Raider junior Austin Raynor was able to retire the side, securing the Midway win.
Midway was led by Dustin Holland, who had a double and two RBIs. Jake Clark and Chandler Williford each had one hit and one RBI. Landon Dorman and Austin Peterson also each had a hit.
Defensively for the Raiders, Williford pitched 3 1/3 innings, striking out two, walking one, and giving up two runs on four hits. Hardison pitched 2 2/3 innings, recording eight strikeouts and allowing three runs on three hits. Austin Raynor was credited the save, allowing one hit and recording one strikeout with no runs allowed.
Following the victory, Midway head coach Jason Fussell was pleased with some improvements in his team. “We came out with things we’d worked on in practice,” he said. “We made a few mistakes, but still came out on top”.
Lakewood head coach Jay Faircloth referenced Thursday night’s loss to Spring Creek to tonight’s loss, saying, “We played ten times better tonight. We hit the ball, played good defense, our pitchers did well, we just made one too many mistakes. We had runners in scoring position several times, but just couldn’t produce.”
With the win, Midway’s record now stands at 1-2. They are scheduled to begin conference play on Tuesday night, hosting East Bladen.
For the Leopards, they host Rosewood on Thursday in conference action.
Reach Daron Barefoot at firstname.lastname@example.org