Leader Blues

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

SPORTS >>Lonoke gains league split with Bulldogs

Leader sportswriter

Drew Southerland went 4 for 4 and scored three times, and Ricky Manning and Justin Neyland each drove in three runs as Lonoke pounded Bald Knob, 13-5, to earn a doubleheader split on Friday at Lonoke.

Bald Knob won the first game, 5-2, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh inning and negating a 10-strikeout performance by Lonoke hurler B.J. Manning.

Lonoke moved to 6-3 on the season, 3-1 in 2-4A Conference play.

“We came out flat in the first game and it cost us,” said Lonoke head coach Nick Kelnhofer. “I was proud of our effort in the second game because we finally began to swing the bats. Our pitching and defense was also excellent in the second game.”

The pitching was outstanding in the first game, as well, but the defense was not. Four errors proved the Jackrabbits’ undoing.

Lonoke got an early lead on Glenn Evans’ leadoff triple and Luke Mitchell’s RBI groundout. Three singles and a sacrifice fly by Evans in the fifth put Lonoke ahead again, 2-1, but the Bulldogs tied it in the sixth, then scored three in the seventh.

Lonoke out-hit Bald Knob 8-7, getting two hits each from Evans, Southerland and Jordan Harris. Manning struck out the firstsix Bald Knob batters he faced.

Lonoke scored two in the first inning of the nightcap to take a 2-1 lead. After Bald Knob tied it in the top of the third, Lonoke erupted for five runs in each of the third and fourth innings to put it away. The Jackrabbits collected eight consecutive hits in the third inning. The big blow was Neyland’s two-run double. Jason Dillie and Jacob Taylor added run-scoring singles.

In the fourth, Mitchell and Ricky Manning opened with doubles, Southerland singled and Neyland was hit with a pitch. Dillie was safe on an error, brining in a run, and Taylor and Harris followed with RBI singles.

Lonoke pounded out 17 hits. Southerland led with four, while Taylor added three. Four others — Mitchell, Ricky Manning, Neyland and Harris had two each.

Southerland got the win, allowing 12 hits and striking out seven in going the distance.

The Jackrabbits were slated to host Carlisle on Tuesday after Leader deadlines.