Lakewood’s baseball season came to an end at Riverside-Martin on Wednesday night in the first round of the NCHSAA State Playoffs. The Leopards scored the first run of the game in the top of the first inning, but could not contain the high-powered offense of Riverside, as the home team and seventh seed in the East Region for 1A play scored 9 consecutive runs to defeat the Leopards by a 9-1 score.
Josh Carter started on the mound for Lakewood. Matt Butler pitched in relief and Zack Tanner pitched to close the game and season out for the Leopards.
Lakewood started this season out at 1-8 through their first 9 games. Including the Wednesday night loss, they finished as winners of 7 of their last 10 games. It was a turnaround that Lakewood’s head coach Raymond Spell was used to. “We had basically a mirror image to last season,” asserted the Leopard coach. “We started out really slow then came back and ended up having a pretty good season. I don’t know what it is about these guys, maybe it takes conference play to get them fired up, I don’t know. I am proud of the way this team turned things around and never gave in throughout a really tough start to this season,” finished Spell.
Lakewood is losing five Seniors from this year’s team, and will be predominantly underclassmen next season. They finished this season at 8-11 overall, and fourth place in Carolina conference play.