Win Knocks Slocum out of First

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

SLOCUM – An eight run first inning was all the Lovelady Lions needed as they dropped eight on the Slocum Mustangs in the first, three in the third, three in the fourth and one in the fifth to coast to an easy 15-2 win.

The win knocks Slocum out of a tie with the Grapeland Sandies for first place in District 21-AA and moves the Lions into a second place tie with the Mustangs.

The game started with Dustin Fletcher on the mound for Slocum. Fletcher got a 5-3 force from Chad Fulgham to open the game, but things went south in a hurry after that.

Jay Thomas Robinson singled and advanced to second base on an error. Logan Lowery followed with a double and just like that it was 1-0, in favor of the Lions. Lowery stole third and then Carter Murray drew a walk to give Lovelady runners at the corners with one away.

Jaxson Reeves was up next and lined a single into center to drive in Lowery and move Murray to third. Tim Johnson also singled which drove in Murray and moved Reeves to second.

After Taylor Womack popped up for the second out of the inning, Ethan Tullos was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A passed ball scored Reeves from third and then Fletcher re-loaded the bases as he walked Mason Phillips.

Austin Sarraf came on in relief of Fletcher and was promptly greeted by a grand slam off the bat of Fulgham which made the score 8-0.

Carter Murray was on the mound for the Lions and it looked like he might have a rough outing as well. He hit Taylor Hunt, got a pop up from Joe Byrnes and then gave up a single to Sarraf. Murray seemed to calm down after the walk as he struck out Taylor Lomax and Colton Peters to end the inning unscathed.

A quiet second inning gave way to a busy third. Sarraf walked Phillips to open the inning and then he hit Fulgham with a pitch. Robinson reached on an infield error that allowed Phillips to score and advanced Fulgham to third.

After Murray walked, Lowery followed with a ground out that drove in Fulgham and moved Robinson to second. Johnson was up next and singled into left to drive in Robinson and make the score 11-0.

Once Sarraf got out of the inning he got a little revenge on the Lions. Murray got Hunt to pop up to right fielder Seth Murray and then gave up a single to Joe Byrnes. Sarraf was up next and he drilled a pitch over the wall in left for a 2-run HR.

That made the score 11-2 in favor of the Lions and was as close as the Mustangs would get. Lovelady tacked on three more runs in the top of the fourth and added one more in the fifth as they coasted to the 15-2 win.

The win by Lovelady puts them into a second place tie with Slocum in District 21-AA with identical 7-3 district records.  The Grapeland Sandies have a one game lead on both teams as they head into the final two games of district.

The Mustangs close out the season with games against the Latexo Tigers and Centerville Tigers. The Lions close out the season with home games against the Normangee Panthers and the Sandies. Grapeland faces North Zulch before traveling to Lovelady on Friday, April 20 to close out the district season.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.