Given up for dead after a tough league loss Wednesday, the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe baseball team found a little life Friday. The 3-2 win over Region 5-AAA foe North Murray was a seven-inning case of survival for the Warriors, who, despite being 3-6 in league play, are just a game out of the fourth and final playoff position.
"We're still in the mix," LFO coach Johnny Burch said after pinch-hitter Adam Wright walked with the bases loaded to bring home the winning run in the seventh inning. "The door has to be open for a reason, so we might as well wak through it."
The visiting Mountaineers (8-11, 4-5) had more than a few chances to seize control, though their only runs came on Jared Campbell's tying two-run homer in the third inning. North Murray stranded 14 runners and was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
LFO starter Cole Ellis was an escape artist for each of his 6 2/3 innings. He dodged a major bullet with the help of his defense in the fifth. The Mountaineers had the bases loaded and one out when Brandon Brock hit a ball that appeared to be headed to center field when LFO shortstop Bradley Travis gloved it, stepped on second and threw to first for the inning-ending double play.
"That ball was hit well up the middle," Burch said, "and Bradley made a great play. That play got this dugout energized."
Ellis was finally pulled with two on and two out in the seventh, and reliever Hayden Griffin ended the threat by getting Brock to pop out. The Warriors took advantage in the bottom half. With runners on third and first with two out, North Murray coach Steve Granger elected to walk Ellis. Wright, seeing his first action, then worked the walk to end the game.
"Hey, we're right there," senior Travis said. "Our backs are against the wall a bit, but we can fight our way out of it. We've still got a shot."
Contact Lindsey Young at email@example.com or at 423-757-6296.
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...