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April 30, 2010Purnell Swett High School
Pirates ‘Skip' to win: Daniel Skipper limits Purnell Swett to seven hits in shutout by Shawn Stinson 15 mins 6 secs ago | 0 views | 0 | 0 | |
Lumberton's Daniel Skipper tossed a complete game as the Pirates defeated Purnell Swett 5-0 in the teams' regular-season finale.
LUMBERTON - It wasn't a game to determine a seed in the conference tournament or a secure a spot in the postseason, but a game against two cross-county rivals.
Lumberton received strong performances from two of its seniors on Senior Night as the Pirates blanked Purnell Swett 5-0 in the regular season finale for both teams Thursday night at Finley Read Field.
Senior left-hander Daniel Skipper scattered seven hits in earning the complete game shutout. Skipper struck out seven and didn't issue a base on balls to pick up his fifth win on the season in six decisions.
"Skipper was great tonight," Lumberton coach Paul Hodges said. "He can be a little Jekyll and Hyde guy. He was the great 'Skip' tonight.
"His curveball was on tonight, then we would come back with the fastball. I think he got better as the game went on."
While Skipper was silencing the Rams' bats, senior Gavin Smith was providing all of the offensive pop Lumberton needed. Smith opened the scoring in the bottom of third with a two-run double to score Avery Bryan and Justin Leggett. Smith moved to third on a throwing error on the play and scored on an Austin McNeil groundout.
Two innings later Smith was once again involved in scoring all of Lumberton's run. Dakota Hayes walked with one out and Smith followed with a triple to center field to score Hayes. Smith dented the plate with the game's final run on a sacrifice fly by McNeil.
Smith went 2-for-3 on the night with three runs batted in, while McNeil had an unusual line of 0-for-2 but drove in two on the night.
"We felt like baserunning was going to be the key," Hodges said. "If we could get men on, then we thought we could get them into scoring position. We needed the hits to score and Gavin Smith came up big."
Torien Locklear picked up the loss for the Rams (8-14, 2-8) despite only allowing five hits in the game.
"Coach (Will) Clark and I were talking about how we were only getting a hit or two in an inning, while they were able to put them together to score," Purnell Swett coach Kelly Chavis said. "When you do that, you're going to win."
Purnell Swett threatened to breakup the shutout twice against Skipper. The first time came in the top of the second inning when Brad Ray opened with a single. After a groundout moved Ray to second, Chase Armstrong singled to right. Chavis held Ray at third as Zach Oxendine's throw went home. On the play, Armstrong attempted to advance to second, but Lumberton catcher Michael Musselwhite gunned down Armstrong for the second out of the frame. Skipper got out of the jam by coaxing T.S. Jacobs to groundout.
In the top of the fourth Ray and Armstrong were once again the catalysts for another Ram threat. Ray singled with one out and after a strikeout, Armstrong singled to advance Ray to second. Skipper was once again able to wiggle out of the threat by striking out Jacobs.
"We missed a couple of signs on the bases and we had an opportunity to strike first," Chavis said. "Anytime you strike first, things have a way of happening in your favor."
Lumberton (14-8, 7-3) earned the No. 2 seed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, while Purnell Swett will be the No. 6 seed. The Rams will face Richmond in the opening round at 7 p.m. Monday in Rockingham, while Lumberton will battle the winner of that game at home at 7 p.m. Tuesday.