LAURINBURG — The Fighting Scots baseball team found itself in a pitcher’s dual on Monday against Marlboro County. The two teams were scoreless through the first four innings as junior Matthew Hyatt and Marlboro County’s Devin Hardee battled back and forth on the mound.
The Scots were putting the bat on the ball in the first three and a half innings, but always managed to hit it right to a Bulldog defender. In his six innings, Marlboro County’s Hardee allowed three runs off five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Hyatt has one of his best outings of the season throwing five innings with two hits, two walks and seven strikeouts. It’s the second shut out the Scots pitching staff has recorded this year.
Coming in to relieve Hyatt were seniors Donta Green and Justin Bowers, both pitched one inning each allowing zero hits with one walk and four strikeouts between the two of them.
The Scots offense finally got something started in the bottom of the fourth inning after a lead off walk to Bowers, first baseman Austin Norton hit a line drive past the short-stop for a double.
Catcher Zac Phillips was the Scots first out of the inning before junior right fielder Davon Ratliffe hit a double down the first-base line. Ratliffe’s stand-up double scored Bowers and Norton to give the Scots a 2-0 lead.
A strikeout by third baseman Tyler Faulk led to an intentional walk to designated hitter Daly Marcano. With two outs and runners on the corners Scots head coach Chad Hill called for McKenzie White to try and lay down the suicide squeeze to score Ratliffe.
White managed to lay the bunt down, but the Bulldogs were ready and got the final out at first before Ratliffe could cross home plate.
Hyatt pitched a three up, three down fifth inning to end his night on the mound.
The Scots threatened to score in the bottom of the fifth inning with Green on base after being hit by a pitch. Senior Justin Ray tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt to advance Green, but couldn’t get it down and struck out. An infield hit by Bowers allowed the Bulldogs to pick off the Scots lead runner for the second out of the inning.
Norton hit a line drive right past the pitcher’s head, but it was snagged by the second baseman for the final out.
The Scots scored their final run of the game thanks to a lead-off double by Phillips. A sacrifice fly by Faulk scored Phillips to put the Scots up 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth.
Bowers saw three Marlboro County batters in the top of the seventh. After a pop fly to shallow left field, Bowers struck out the final two batters to end the game.
The Scots are on a three-game win streak as they look to host Norfolk Christian on Friday night at 7 p.m. The Scots will also be in action with their final home game of the week on Saturday, March 11 against Butler. First pitch for that game will be 1 p.m.
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.