Strickland pitches Laney to bounce-back win

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Laney 7       Southern Lee 1

Down by one with two outs and runners on first and second in the top of the fourth, Gage Vass delivered an RBI single to right and John Speight crossed the plate on a two-base error as Laney broke open a one-run ballgame to snap a three-game skid with a 7-1 win over Southern Lee late Wednesday morning.

Calloway Strickland allowed just one run on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts in a complete-game effort to earn the victory.

Jon Kuebler slides in safely at second. Photos by Joe Catenacci
Jon Kuebler slides in safely at second. Photos by Joe Catenacci.

“Today was a good bounce-back win and we’ve kind of been searching for that consistency over the last couple of weeks,” said Laney Coach Aaron Livengood. “Specifically on the mound we’ve been looking to be more consistent and I thought we got that today. I thought we gave them their first run, but it’s good to get the win and hope to bring that momentum into tomorrow’s game.”

With the Bucs in front 2-1 after four innings of play, Laney scored three more in the fifth after loading the bases on two walks and hit by pitch before the Cavaliers forced in a run on a base on balls issued to Kennedy Hardy. Two more runs came across in the frame on a sacrifice fly by John Speight, while Alex Farrow picked up an RBI on a base hit to left field.

Speight finished his day at the plate 2-for-2 with a walk, run scored and run batted in. Jonathan Kuebler also reached base with three walks and scored a pair of runs, while Farrow went 2-for-4 to pace the Bucs.

“At the plate it just goes back to doing something to be more consistent,” said Livengood. “Over the last couple of weeks we’ve lacked those key hits and today we got a couple with two outs to bring in some runs. We were able to kind of take a deep breath and relax a little bit.”

Southern Lee got on the board in the bottom of the second after a leadoff double by Austin Barnes. The Cavaliers’ right-fielder moved to third on a Bucs’ miscue and scored on a fielders’ choice off the bat of Alex Bullard, who picked up the RBI.

Gage Vass.
Gage Vass.

Ryan Holmes cruised through the Bucs’ lineup the first time through before struggling to find the strike zone with five walks over the fourth and fifth, while allowing just three hits in the game.

Strickland matched his counterpart on the rubber as the southpaw wiggled his way out of a jam in the fifth with runners on and one out before inducing a fly ball to Hunter Gainey in right and a ground out to Speight at third base.

Southern Lee left eight runners stranded on base and the Bucs put two more across in the seventh on an errant throw with the bases loaded.

“We had Calloway at 87-88 pitches and that’s a good ballgame for him,” said Livengood. “He’s had two good outings in a row so hopefully we can build off this. Our focus tomorrow will just be to try and come out, another day to get better, compete and have a chance to win at the end.”

Laney moved to 5-7 overall and play Reidsville at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. The Cavaliers look to get their first win of the tournament against Hoggard at 1:30 p.m.

Box score                    R H E

Laney 000  230  2       7   5   1

Lee     010  000   0      1   4   2

WP:  Calloway Strickland      LP: Ryan Holmes