First Posted: 1/15/2009
FAYETTEVILLE - The Purnell Swett High School baseball team played well, but came up just short - again.
The Rams had their playoff hopes dashed Tuesday night with a 4-3 loss to top-seeded Pine Forest in the semifinals of the Two Rivers Conference tournament. It was Swett's ninth one-run loss of the season.
“This game here was typical of our season,” Purnell Swett coach Jerome Hunt said. “We battled and battled and just came up a run short again. We definitely had a chance to win the ball game.”
Edmund Locklear pitched the entire game for the Rams, allowing 10 hits and striking out five. Locklear also went 1-for-2 at the plate with a double. Ryan Oxendine went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI to lead Swett offensively, but the fourth-seeded Rams (9-14) had a hard time gaining any momentum at the the plate.
“Edmund Locklear went out there and battled his heart out,” Hunt said. “We just didn't give him enough run support.”
The Trojans (18-6) put three runs on the scoreboard in the second inning, which included a two-run double by Dallas Poulk, who also picked up the win as the starting pitcher for Pine Forest. Poulk finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate and allowed just four hits in four innings on the mound.
Swett got one run back in the third off an RBI-single by Sean Locklear, but Pine Forest scored again in the fourth to take a 4-1 lead. However, the Rams had a rally left in them.
Oxendine's double drove home Sean Locklear in the sixth to cut the lead to 4-2. Pine Forest took that two-run lead into the seventh inning, where Swett shortstop Cameron Clark reached base on an error. Clark later scored when a grounder off the bat of Ben Dial went between the legs of Poulk at short. But with the Rams trailing by a run the comeback attempt fell short.
Now Purnell Swett, which loses just three senior starters, will look to next year, while Pine Forest will face Lumberton in the league championship game Thursday at 7 p.m.
“We have a lot of juniors coming back,” Edmund Locklear said. “It should be a good year.”
Shane Mettlen can be reached at 739-4322, Ext. 118 or by e-mail at [email protected]
Purnell Swett 001 001 1 - 3 6 1
Lumberton 030 100 x - 4 10 3
Batteries: PF - Poulk, J. Moreles (5) and J. Ballard. PS - E. Locklear
WP: Poulk. LP: E. Locklear.
Records: Pine Forest 18-6; Purnell Swett 9-13