The Lakewood Leopards hosted the North Duplin Rebels Tuesday evening in what would be a good match up on the baseball field. The home nine made a good rally to comeback for the lead but fell short at the end, losing 5-4 to the Rebels.
The Leopards would not get onto the board until the 4th inning due to some well-prepared Rebel defense. However the rebels were able to steadily add on to their score by scoring two runs in the first inning and a third in the second. By the fourth inning the score showed a strong hold on the lead by North Duplin, 3-1.
The Rebels didn’t slow the pace in the fifth inning either adding yet another run onto the board. The Leopards just seemed to have a hard time hitting the ball to the right sports.
Lakewood heated up in the sixth inning, however. Not only did their defense quickly defend the field and hold the Rebels scoreless in the frame, but with some timely hits and crafty base-running, the Leopards had came back to tie the game at 4-4.
The rally was short-lived as the Rebels pushed a run across in the seventh inning to have a one run lead on the entering the final half inning.
Unfortunately for the home team, there was no offensive firepower to be found, and the Rebels took the win.
Matt Butler led the Leopards, going 2 for 3 with 1 RBI. Butler also pitched all 7 innings of the game and struck out 9 players. Chandler Honeycutt also went 2 for 3 with 1 RBI and Zach Tanner went 1 for 3 with an RBI.
Leopard coach, Jay Faircloth was a little disappointed in the 10 strikeouts they had during the game but still was very proud of his team.
“We battled hard and it turned out to be a big ball game after we got some momentum in the sixth inning,” he said. “We just couldn’t pull out with the win, but I think this is the best they have played all season. We should have won it but I’m still proud of the guys.”
The Leopards are set to tangle with Rosewood in another tough conference match later this week.