Robert E. Lee gifted Garland Lakeview Centennial six runs in the first two innings and then ran out of innings trying to make a comeback in an eventual 7-5 loss Tuesday at Mike Carter Field.
The loss was Lee's first in District 11-6A, dropping the Red Raiders to 2-1 in league play and 9-5 overall. Lakeview moved to 12-6 and 2-1.
The Patriots scored five runs in the second without a hit and used a fielder's choice and three wild pitched to score their sixth run in the third. Despite REL closing its deficit to 6-3 in the fourth and 7-5 in the sixth, REL couldn't dig out of the hole it had created for itself.
"They fought well in the second half of the ball game," Lee coach James Boxley said. "You get yourself in a hole and you just have to fight and fight. We ran out of time."
Red Raiders pitchers issued 11 walks and hit a batter while Lee outhit Lakeview 8-5, but also left seven runners on base, three of those in scoring position.
Lakeview Centennial's Marcus Pugh got the victory, going 4 2-3 innings and allowing three runs on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Jim McCabe battled in and out of trouble the rest of the way for the save.
REL sophomore Rhett Parker reached twice and scored two runs with Luke Hamilton providing a two-run double and Parker Bramlett delivering a two-run single for the Red Raiders.
Tullis Greer started the game for REL, but did not make it out of the second inning. Greer walked the bases loaded and then Lakeview Centennial produced three-straight bases-loaded walks off Greer and reliever Hamilton to lead 3-0. Hamilton induced a ground ball with two outs, but an errant throw scored two more runs for a 5-0 deficit.
The Patriots added another run in the third inning when Blake Strunk reached on a fielder's choice after Alex Bean provided Lakeview Centennial's first hit of the game with a single. Strunk used three wild pitches to go around the bases and score Lakeview's sixth run. Kamron Fields added an insurance run in the sixth with a lead-off triple and scored on a single by McCabe.
Lee's bats were held in check through the first three innings save for a two-out double from Marc Schwarz. In the bottom of the fourth, Mitchell NeJame rocketed a double to left center field, with Parker then reaching on an infield single. Zach Fernandez followed with an RBI single to score courtesy runner Colton Kerr. With runners at first and second, Hamilton worked a full count against Pugh before helping himself with a two-run double to left field, scoring Parker and Fernandez to make it 6-3.
Mark Russell then hit a liner that looked to be destined to drive in Hamilton, but a diving catch in center field by Fields ended the inning.
REL went back to work in the bottom of the fifth, using a single and hit batter to put runners at the corners, but McCabe entered the game and struck out Lee's next hitter to end the inning.
Trailing 7-3 in the sixth, Parker got things going with a leadoff single followed by a one-out walk to Hamilton and two-out walk to Mason Parker. Needing a big hit, Bramlett came through on a 1-2 pitch with a single to left field, scoring Parker and Hamilton. McCabe struck out Lee's next batter to end the inning with the score 7-5.
Rhett Parker got on base again in the seventh with a two-out single, but he was left stranded as McCabe got the final out of the game.
The Red Raiders were without senior Jonathan Randall, who fractured a finger on his pitching hand while playing third base on Friday. Randall had been 3-0 on the mound, but is questionable going forward. Parker Bates, a Louisiana Tech signee, continues to come back from his own fractured hand suffered in Lee's first week of the season.
"Everybody has to step up and we certainly need to get better," Boxley said. "We have to have better practices that are going to lead into better ball games."
The Red Raiders will be on the road Thursday at Garland with a first pitch set for 7 p.m. at Garland High School.
Lakeview Centennial 7, Robert E. Lee 5
LVC 051 001 0 - 7 5 3
Lee 000 302 0 - 5 8 1
Marcus Pugh, Jim McCabe (5) and McCabe, Jared Hereha (5); Tullis Greer, Luke Hamilton (2), Kade Keener (6) and Marc Schwartz. W – Pugh. L – Greer. SV McCabe. 2B – REL: Schwartz, Mitchell NeJame, Hamilton 3B – LVC: Kamron Fields.
RECORDS - Lakeview Centennial 12-6 (2-1); Robert E. Lee 9-5 (2-1).
NEXT UP - Lee at Garland, 7 p.m. Thursday.