A three-run inning in the top of half of the seventh gave the West Limestone Wildcats a 7-5 comeback victory against the Lindsay Lane Christian Lions Saturday at Lindsay Lane Christian Academy. This was a rematch from a game played March 19 which West won by a final score of 1-0.
The Lions got on the board with a Max Morrison RBI double to left field in the bottom of the first, scoring Sam Hogue, who had reached on a single. Morrison attempted to stretch the double into a triple, but was caught in a rundown between second and third and tagged out by West third basemen, River Helms. After one inning, the Lions led 1-0.
The Wildcats first of two big innings came when they scored four runs in the top of the fourth. Brody White led off the inning with a single up the middle off of LLCA starter Micah Perkins. Braxton Griffin doubled to center field quickly putting two runners aboard. In the next at-bat, Helms was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out and Devin Carter took advantage. He hit an RBI single to left field, tying things up at 1-1. Ian Burroughs followed that up with a two-run single, scoring Griffin and Helms. Perkins got the next three outs in order, but one of those outs was an RBI groundout by West’s Colin Patterson to give the Wildcats a 4-1 lead.
The Lions came roaring back in the bottom of the fifth with three runs of their own. After a walk to LLCA’s Seth Mitchell by West starter Hayden Carter, he would come around to score two batters later on an RBI single by Ben Frasier. After the RBI single by Frasier, West’s Logan Martin was brought in of relief of Carter. He issued a walk to Perkins, bringing up Hogue who notched a two-run single to center field, tying things up at 4-4. Martin ended the inning by striking out the side in order.
Martin struck out four of five batters before LLCA’s Ray Anderson singled on a ground ball to left. Frasier singled in his next at-bat, followed up by a hit by pitch of Perkins to load the bases with two outs. A run would come around to score with on a wild pitch, scoring Anderson, and giving the Lions a 5-4 lead going into the final frame.
That one run lead wouldn’t be enough for the Lions. Anderson came in for his third inning of work after relieving Perkins with one out in the top of the fifth. Three straight singles to begin the seventh for the Wildcats by Thorne Slaton, Patterson and Cooper Phillips loaded the bases with no outs. The cleanup hitter, Ryan Britt, struck out before White singled on a line drive to center field scoring Slaton to tie the game at 5-5. Another run crossed home plate in the next at-bat on an RBI single by Griffin. The Wildcats added one more with two outs in the seventh on an error by the Lions, scoring pinch runner Keegan Laxson to bring their total to seven and ultimately a victory of 7-5.
“We made more mistakes today defensively than I wanted to, but our guys cleaned that up,” West head coach Ryan Griffin said. “Hayden got hurt earlier in the year, but I thought he threw really well on the mound for us and working through those mistakes. He didn’t get down and he kept his head up. We had to bring Colin Patterson in to close it out and he did the job.”
Griffin knows the LLCA Lions are a tough opponent, as they have had two close games with them this season, but if he has learned one thing about his team, it is that they never give up.
“They play us harder than anybody all year. But our guys keep battling, they never think they’re out of it. We don’t quit.”
For the Lions, this was another tough loss to West, but for LLCA head coach Charles Morrison, it’s always about challenging his team.
“It was a good challenge for our boys. West Limestone is a solid baseball team, Coach Griffin has a good thing going on over there with his program,” he said. “It was a competitive game, it was decided in the seventh inning, so that was good to see. But unfortunately, we just came out on the bad side of it.”
West tallied 10 hits to the Lions eight. White, Griffin and Burroughs each had multiple hit games for the Wildcats. Griffin had one RBI and Burroughs finished with two. Slaton, Patterson, Phillips and Carter all had one hit. Along with their hits, Carter, Patterson, White and Phillips also added one RBI apiece.
For the Lions, Frasier led his team with three hits, going three for four with one RBI. Hogue went two for four, knocking in two runs. Anderson also finished with two hits, going two for three. Max Morrison went one for three with one RBI.
Carter’s final line for the Wildcats was four innings pitched, giving up five hits, allowing four earned runs, two walks with four strikeouts. Martin went two innings allowing one run on three hits with five strikeouts. In Patterson’s one inning of work to close out the game, he struck out two of three and didn’t allow a hit.
Perkins went four innings for the Lions, giving up five hits, four earned runs, two walks with five strikeouts. Anderson pitched three innings, giving up three runs on five hits, only two earned runs,with three strikeouts.