Indians lose by one run

Published 10:11 am Friday, June 1, 2012

Southampton High School shortstop Hayden Spalding tags out a King George runner at second and prepares to the throw the ball to first for the double play. -- Gwen Albers | Tidewater News

COURTLAND—Southampton High School outhit King George by two, yet fell by one in the Region 1 baseball semifinals on Thursday to end the Indians’ season.

“One big hit (made the difference),” Southampton Coach Wes Griffith said about the 7-6 loss to the top-ranked Battlefield District team.

That one big hit — actually two — came from King George senior Damion Carroll, who opened the game with a solo home run and added a two-run homer in the fourth to give the Foxes a 5-2 lead over the Indians.

The Battlefield District Player of the Year, Carroll also pitched the final inning in relief, taking out the Indians one-two-three. Carroll was 6-0 on the season with 96 strikeouts in 48 innings and throws a 93 mph fastball.

“I can’t complain about how hard my guys fought,” Griffith said about the game and the 16-4 season, which included winning the Southside District. “We faced adversity and never gave in to it. We were down 5-2 in the fourth and could’ve easily given up.”

Junior starter Zach Vann pitched two innings and was tagged with the loss. Relievers included freshman Hunter Peck and juniors Dillon Hasty and Josh Riddick.

Dustin Phillips picked up the win.

After King George took a 2-0 lead, Southampton’s Tony Cobb hit a single to bring Pope home from third. Hayden Spalding struck out, leaving two Indians on base.

The Indians tied the game 2-2 in the third after a Jake Pope single brought home Mason Wright from second.

Down 6-2 going into the bottom of the fourth, Spalding hit his first home run of the season and brought home Vann.

In the fifth, Cobb caught three flies in a row as it was three up and three down for King George.

In the bottom of the fifth, Southampton’s Cecil Lowe got to first after a passed ball by the catcher. An attempt to get Lowe out brought home Pope, who had three singles in the game.

King George scored in the sixth to take a 7-5 lead.

Pope got out on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the inning, allowing Mason to score the Indians’ final run.

Southampton had 13 hits to King George’s 11. Cobb and Tanner Winter had two hits each.