0

Lee's year ends after 10-0 run-rule defeat in Game 3 to Lakeside Evans

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

AUGUSTA -- Lee County baseball's first state title will just have to wait one more year.

And this latest loss may be one of the toughest in the program's history to swallow.

The Trojans weren't just sent packing back to Leesburg by Lakeside Evans on Thursday in Game 3 of their GHSA Class AAAA Sweet 16 playoff game -- they were all but chased out of the ballpark.

Lakeside won, 10-0, in a game that only lasted five innings -- the first time all season, or in recent memory of a storied program such as Lee County -- the Trojans didn't even get a chance to finish the game.

"Just a tough, tough day," longtime coach Rob Williams said.

After the two teams split on Friday, the expected nail-biting finish in Game 3 never reached that point because of Lakeside's offense, its defense and the right arm of Wil Hogan.

Lakeside also took advantage of five Lee County errors to lead, 9-0, after four innings. The Panthers had seven hits in five innings, more than they had in any seven-inning game the previous day.

The loss fell to Lee sophomore Jess Posey, who was pulled after just 3 1/3 innings.

"Jess struck out the first two batters of the game, then we committed three errors in the second inning alone," Williams said. "Five errors and four (walks) later, that's how it ended. Mistakes like that get you beat."

Lakeside junior Kody Belcher reached base all four times he came to bat, driving in two runs with a second-inning triple that followed three Lee County errors and a hit batsman. Hogan needed no more help, allowing only three hits and one walk.

Posey had played shortstop for all 14 innings of the opening two games, and his absence was felt there. Three of Lee County's errors were by its middle infield. Posey left with one out in the top of the fourth with two runners in scoring position and his team trailing, 7-0.

Phillip Anderson had two of the Trojans' three hits, while Mark Fowler had the other.

Lee, which finishes it season at 20-9, loses four seniors: Matt Suggs, Justin McCalvin, Jordan Duggan and Matt Tanner.

But all Williams could do afterward was hurt for all his kids.

"You're sitting there watching this, wishing there was something you could do -- something you could say to help them turn it around. But then it just gets worse and worse," Williams said. "You just hope the kids will look back at all the good that came out of this season. But you also just hate to see it end like this."

------------------------

Matt Middleton of The Augusta Chronicle contributed to this report