John Tyler packed more offensive punch but lacked the finishing touch in an 11-8 loss to Pine Tree on Tuesday at Mike Carter Field.
The Lions led after three innings before the Pirates plated the last six runs to sweep the series.
The Lions lost the first meeting, 12-2, and continued to show improvement after charting their first on-field district wins in 10 years and close losses to three teams in playoff contention.
After losing a six-run lead, Pine Tree sent four batters to the plate with the bases loaded in the fourth inning. The tying run scored after a pitch hit Blake Adams and Jake Oden flied out to right field to circle in the go-ahead run.
Christopher Chadwick (1 for 3, RBI, three runs) laced a two-run single in the sixth, and in the seventh Mason Luke (1 for 2, two runs) added an RBI triple and Clay Johnson completed the offensive feast with an RBI single.
JT (6-14-1, 2-8 in 14-4A) went without a hit or run in the final three innings.
Ryan Lazo (3 for 3, three runs) led Pine Tree (15-7-1, 7-3).
Pine Tree benefited from four free passes and two JT errors to take a sizeable 6-0 lead midway through the first. An outfield error allowed the first run to score and a bases-loaded walk followed. Christopher Chadwick and Trevor Chadwick drove in runs the next two at-bats and a fielding error circled around another.
JT sliced the lead in half, using three hits to go with two walks. The first three JT batters reached base and scored — Jawun Hart (single), Terrance Wilson (single) and Chris Williams (walk).
The Lions leapfrogged the Pirates momentarily with a five-run fifth to go ahead 8-7. Robert Garcia, who pitched to the first five batters and returned to the mound after JT regained the lead and lost it in the fifth, hit a two-run single before the top of the Lions’ lineup accounted for three more runs off free passes with the bags full — Hart on a walk, Wilson after being hit by a pitch and Williams on a walk.
Jalen Reagins recorded two hits and stole two bases to pace the JT offense.
On the defensive end, JT committed three errors and walked seven batters and hit two more. The JT defense still enjoyed its moments, turning three double plays to go with Williams’ highlight-reel, one-handed catch after running from his shortstop position to shallow left field to track down a ball. Williams jumped up after the catch and fired back to Garcia at the mound, who fired back to first to complete the double play.
Pine Tree 13, John Tyler 8
Pine Tree 601 202 2 — 13 11 0
John Tyler 305 000 0 — 8 7 3
Chandler Mize, Aaron Rodriguez (3), Trevor Thomas (3) and Blake Adams; Robert Garcia, Cesar Flores (2), Garcia (5) and Jawun Hart. W – Thomas; L – Flores. 2B – PT: Jacob Greenlee, Bradley Clayton. 3B – PT: Mason Luke. SB – PT: Ryan Lazo (2), Jake Oden, Christopher Chadwick; JT: Jalen Reagins (2), Christopher Williams. SF – PT: Oden. SH – JT: Terrance Wilson.
RECORDS — Pine Tree 15-7-1 (7-3); John Tyler 6-14-1 (2-8).
NEXT UP — Whitehouse at John Tyler, Friday.