Rebels get first win
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 18, 2008 1:53 PM
CALYPSO -- North Duplin snapped a three-game losing streak with a 7-4, non-conference decision over Union on Monday afternoon.
Erratic fielding by the Rebels allowed the Spartans to take a 3-0, first-inning lead. Antonio Garcia laced a two-RBI double down the left-field line and an error led to the third run.
North Duplin (1-3 overall) got back one run in the first. Billy Mello and Doug Lloyd provided back-to-back singles to cut the deficit to 3-1.
"We lost the first game to them 3-2 on one decisive call, so we knew what to expect today as the game got going," said North Duplin head coach Joey Keefe.
The Rebels squandered a scoring chance in the second inning, but left the bases loaded. The team turned to its senior leader, Lloyd, for motivation and the right-hander delivered.
Lloyd threw three consecutive scoreless innings.
"Doug did a great job tonight. He mixed up his pitches well, and when we needed an out he got it done," Keefe said. "He looked pretty good the first two times we put him on the mound and tonight we kept the defense up behind him."
North Duplin took the lead in the fourth inning.
Buddy Grady led off with a single and moved into scoring position on Mello's hit. Lloyd trimmed the deficit to 3-2 with an RBI groundout. Will Lanier's hit off Union's shortstop concluded the three-run uprising as the Rebels charged in front 4-3.
North Duplin's defense limited Union to a single run in the latter innings. The Rebels capitalized on wild pitches and added crucial runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
"It's always good to get that first win of the year out of the way," said Keefe. "I was pretty pleased with the total team effort. We hit the ball a lot better today, and we also ran the bases better."
The Rebels continue non-conference play at home today against Lakewood. They conclude the pre-Easter portion of their schedule Thursday at Hobbton, and will enjoy a 12-day break before their Class 1-A Carolina Conference opener on Apr. 1.
"We know that there aren't going to be any easy wins anywhere we go," Keefe said. "We're going to continue to work on our hitting, and I will be getting more one-on-one time with the guys to go over some things."
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