The same two clubs will square off again on Tuesday afternoon (4 p.m.) at Olympic Field. Monday’s loss dropped the Lions, an old TranSouth Conference rival, to 21-10.
“We did an excellent job of hitting in the middle of the lineup and getting two-out hits,” noted coach Mark Brew. “Our defense was once again solid and I thought (Kyle) Briner did a great job on the mound, making some big pitches. Freed has a quality team and we will need to be ready tomorrow.”
Played under perfect spring baseball conditions, both teams were scoreless until the Flames erupted for two runs in the fourth inning. Reyes reached on an error. Davis drilled a 400-foot double off the base of the right-center field wall. Roberto Duran hit a screaming line drive off pitcher Charlie Overturf. The ball rolled all the way down the right-field line and allowed Reyes and Davis to score and gave Duran a pair of RBI.
Lee added two big runs in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Max Harvell pushed the bunt past the Freed pitcher. Barber reached on a bloop single and Reyes delivered his 49th and 50th RBIs of the season with a ringing double into the left-center field gap. It was also his 11th two-base knock.
The final run came in the eighth and was engineered by Davis. The speedster led off the inning with a single and then proceeded to steal second and third, his 20th and 21st swipes of the season. Moments later he scored on a wild pitch.
The visitors tallied their only runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Justin Mackey had four of his team’s seven hits, including a double. He also scored one of his club’s two runs. Overturf was charged with the pitching defeat. He hurled the first 6 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits and three earned runs, giving up three walks and striking out three.
Lawson battled his way out of a pair of jams and pitched the first five innings for the Flames. He surrendered four hits, gave up one earned run, fanned four and walked three while lowering his earned run average to 1.57. Kyle Briner hurled the next three innings and allowed three hits, one earned run, three strikeouts and a walk. Andy Hillis came on to pitch a perfect ninth inning and posted his fifth save of the season.