Cavs sweep NR with 10-7 win

Published 7:14 am Saturday, April 25, 2009

With only six hits, Lakeland still piled up 10 runs for a 10-7 victory and a season sweep over city rival Nansemond River on the baseball diamond Friday night at Lakeland.

The Cavaliers took advantage of walks, Nansemond River errors, base running, clutch two-out hitting, basically everything and anything they could, to turn an early 3-0 deficit into what was a 10-4 lead through six innings.

In the visitors’ half of the first, the Warriors showed their power at the plate. Erickson Keeton hit a solo home run to center field and Johnny Pitt launched a two-run homer well over the left field fence.

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By the end of the third inning though, Lakeland had flipped the game completely in its favor with its own style of offense.

In the Lakeland first, David Waterfield and Michael Espinosa walked and were on second and third with two outs. James Gatling came through with a hit just past a diving attempt down the first base line by NR’s Pitt. Gatling’s single scored two.

A walk drawn by Kevin Lowther, then a stolen base and a Warrior error, allowed Lakeland to tie the game in the second inning.

With two outs and no Cavalier on base in the third, Lakeland still turned the frame into a rally.

After a walk to Gatling, Lance Smith and Trey Wright both reached on infield singles, with Wright’s hit, a hit which bounded past the mound, but died before reaching the infield dirt, driving in Gatling for a 4-3 Lakeland lead.

A wild pitch moved both Cavalier runners into scoring position and a single by Lowther, a hard shot through the left side of the infield, scored Smith and Wright to make it 6-3.

Lakeland posted three more runs in the fourth with the clutch hit coming, as in the first inning, from Gatling. With two outs and the bases loaded, Gatling singled up the middle for two more RBI.

A double steal, with Gatling taking second and Jeremy Hagwood racing in from third on the Warrior throw to second, made it 9-3 Cavs.

The Warriors put together a last-ditch comeback effort in the seventh inning. A parade of singles, with RBI hits by Brandon Lowe, Pitt and Zach Vann, brought up the potential go-ahead run with two outs.

Waterfield, who lasted 6.2 innings for the Cavs, was relieved by Hagwood who got the last out. Waterfield allowed 11 hits and two walks and struck out two in getting the victory.

Nansemond River (5-9, 4-8) hosts Hickory on Tuesday. Lakeland (6-7, 5-6) improves to 3-0 against Suffolk rivals this season. The Cavaliers host King’s Fork in a make-up game on Monday at 5:30 p.m.