The Pirates had five two-out hits in the first three innings that led to all seven runs, as they beat Hoke County 7-1 Tuesday in a Southeastern Conference contest.
Daniel Skipper threw a complete game four-hitter for Lumberton, allowing just the lone run, while striking out seven. Skipper had four 1-2-3 innings in the game, including the seventh when he got Donald Womack to ground out to third to end the game.
Lumberton coach Paul Hodges felt that Skipper got stronger as the game went along.
“Skipper threw a great ball game, and I can’t say enough about his innings tonight,” he said. “As the game went along he was throwing with more velocity and pounding the zone with more strikes.”
The win was also big for the Pirates (12-6, 5-2) in securing the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Bucks. Lumberton won both regular season meetings, while Hoke won the Robeson County Slugfest championship game over the Pirates.
“We beat them twice, so that mathematically eliminates them moving past us even if we lose out and they win out,” Hodges said.
After two quick outs in the bottom of the first, Hoke starter Luis Renvill issued consecutive walks, and Skipper brought in Dakota Oxendine on a single that took a high hop over Hoke's Cameron Austin at first. Mike Musselwhite followed with a grounder to short, but Austin could not handle the throw and both baserunners came in to make it 3-0.
Bucks coach Mike Ray felt his team got off to a slow start, but was not helped by a couple of bad breaks.
“A couple bounces don’t go our way, we make an error and it all snowballed from there," Ray said. "I moved Austin over to pitch for defensive purposes.”
Austin McNeil brought in Dakota Hayes in the second with two outs on a triple to right-center off Austin, and then Oxendine singled in McNeil.
The Pirates added two more in the third, one on an Avery Bryan double, and the another when Bryan came home on a balk.
The Bucks (11-7, 2-5) scored their lone run in the fifth, when Andy Brayboy singled in Caleb Chavis.
Lumberton hosts Richmond on Friday, when both teams will be wearing pink-themed jerseys for breast cancer awareness.