Southside’s Graves shuts door on Lejeune rally

Published 10:58 am Wednesday, April 2, 2014




The Southside baseball team has spent the beginning of its season falling a victim to games decided by one run. Boasting a 3-4 record entering this week, three of the team’s four loses have been decided by the offense’s inability to rally in the final inning.

That all changed on Tuesday, when the Seahawks squared off against the Lejeune Devil Pups, and managed to plate the final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh.

Sophomore Terry Moore toed the rubber for Southside and struggled early. Over the first two-plus innings, the Devil Pups touched up the Seahawk’s right-hander for 11 runs (6 ER) on seven hits and one walk. The defense didn’t help its young hurler, committing two errors in the early innings that resulted in runs.

Enter Alex Graves. The prolific Southside senior single-handedly kept his team in the game by pitching five innings of three-hit baseball. After relieving Moore and working his team out of a jam in the third inning, he pounded the zone, avoided walks and fanned six Devil Pups.

As Graves excelled, so did the Southside defense, cleaning up its act in support of the three-year varsity starter.

Down 11-9 heading into the fourth inning, Southside slowly chipped away at the Lejuene lead, scoring one run in the bottom half of the inning, one in the fifth and eventually the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh.

Senior Josh McCormick finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Freshman Hunter Sparks also picked up two hits on the evening, while sophomore Lawrence Brown smacked an RBI double that cleared the bases in the third inning.

With the win, Southside moves to 4-4 (2-2 Coastal Plains). The Seahawks will face off against the Pamlico County Hurricanes on Tuesday with first pitch beginning at 6 p.m.