FAYETTEVILLE — Justice Sampson was Lumberton’s ace in the hole Monday at Pine Forest.
The Pirates’ senior lefty picked up his first win of the season with four efficient innings during the Pirates’ 6-2 victory despite being slated to start at first base on the bus ride over in favor of sophomore Evan Odum.
“We realized when we got here about an hour before the game that Evan forgot his jersey,” Lumberton coach Paul Hodges said. “It was a teachable moment for our younger players. You forget you jersey, you don’t play. I thought Justice did a good job considering the circumstances.”
Odum, a rising star who verbally committed to North Carolina in the fall, tossed five scoreless innings in his only previous start and was tabbed as the two-game losing streak snapper during Lumberton’s second battle with the Trojans.
He didn’t play, but Sampson picked up his team by overcoming a handful of early walks to keep the ball down in the zone and away from Pine Forest’s heart of the order. He exited the contest in the fifth with a 3-1 lead following a two-out, two-run double in the previous frame from Travis Suggs that pushed the Pirates ahead.
Lumberton’s wins leader last season, the victory was Sampson’s first this spring in his second appearance and evened the Pirates record at 2-2.
Odum should start Wednesday’s game against Gray’s Creek.
“We got some hits in key situations and I really thought Alex (Merritt) did a good job of damage control in the fifth and sixth (innings),” Hodges said. “We threw strikes and battled at the plate. It’s important that our guys focus on what we need to do to keep improving.”
Rams stay unbeaten
FAYETTEVILLE — Purnell Swett made quick work of Westover on Monday, blanking the Wolverines for the second time this season, 19-0, in five innings.
The Rams (5-0) have outscored their opponents 79-3 through five games and have pounded out double-digit hit totals in four of those outings. The record of Swett’s opponents is 1-7.
“We’re seeing the baseball and throwing it pretty good,” said Purnell Swett coach Bryan McDonald. “I was really pleased with the win we had over (Jack) Britt last week.”
Several pitchers saw work on Monday, but Josh Jacobs was the most effective after throwing a pair of hitless frames and notching the win. Swett travels back to Fayetteville on Wednesday with another game against the Buccaneers.
Late error hurts LHS softball
FAYETTEVILLE — A two-out error on an infield pop-up led to a bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the fifth for Pine Forest on Monday as the Trojans rallied to beat Lumberton, 5-2.
Cierra Campbell took the loss for the Pirates (0-3) despite only one of five runs given up being earned. Joy Church ripped two of Lumberton’s five total hits.
“Our girls haven’t had much practice time, so mistakes are going to happen early in the season,” Lumberton coach Mackie Register said. “Hopefully we can bounce back in our next game and get our first win.”
Reach Brad Crawford at 910-272-6111 or on Twitter @MrPalmettoSDS.
Lumberton 6, Pine Forest 2
Lumberton0002112—6 7 3
Pine Forest 001 001 0 — 2 6 2
WP — Justice Sampson (1-0). LP — Ethan Wilson.
Leading hitters — LHS: Suggs 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI; Saulnier 2-3, 2B, RBI.
Record — Lumberton 2-2; Pine Forest 3-2.
Swett 19, Westover 0
Westover 000 00— 0 1 8
WP — Josh Jacobs.
Leadhing hitters — PS: C. Locklear 3-3, 2 2B.
Records — Purnell Swett 5-0; Westover 0-3.
Pine Forest 5, Lumberton 2
Lumberton0011000— 2 5 1
Pine Forest001013X— 5 6 1
WP — Barefoot. LP — Cierra Campbell (0-2).
Leadhing hitters — LHS: Church 2-2. PF — Helms 1-3, 3B, 3 RBI.
Record — Lumberton 0-3; Pine Forest 2-2.