The Louisburg Hurricanes split two games on Saturday to open the NJCAA Region X Tournament at Lexington County Baseball Stadium in Lexington, South Carolina. In the double-elimination tournament, the 'Canes stayed alive and will play again on Sunday morning in an elimination game with Spartanburg Methodist.
Game 1 (Louisburg 16 – USC Salkehatchie 8) (Eight Innings)
Louisburg got the tournament started off on the right foot by defeating the USC Salkehatchie (USCS) Indians, 16-8, in eight innings. Josh Baker, hitting in the #2 spot for Louisburg, went 5-for-5 and drove in six runs. He belted two home runs and three singles to lead the team.
Derek Neal and Sergio Burgos each had two hits for the Hurricanes as the visitors slugged 15 hits overall to account for their 16 runs. The Indians lent a hand by committing eight errors in the field.
On the hill for the Hurricanes was Sophomore Payton Rice, who threw eight complete innings to earn the win. He scattered 11 hits and eight runs and benefited from the offensive outburst by the Hurricanes. He also struck out six Spartans and walked only two and notched his second win of the year for Louisburg.
Game 2 (Florence-Darlington Technical College 7 Louisburg 4)
The Hurricanes fell short to the Florence-Darlington Technical College Stingers in the second of two tournament games on Saturday, 7-4. Louisburg did all its damage early when it put up two runs in both the first and second frames.
In the second, Aaron Beach and Zacchaeus Rasberry reached on back-to-back singles after Brian Kahn flew out to start the inning. The two moved up a base on a passed ball, and both scored on an error from Stingers' pitcher Mark Leonard. That was the extent of the Hurricanes offensive output for the afternoon as reliever Connor Campbell worked 4 and 2/3 and Josh Price finished out the game with three scoreless innings after Leonard was lifted early in the second inning.
Freshman Jason Parker got the start for Louisburg and went six innings, yielding three earned runs and striking out three. Righty Steven Cook relieved and pitched the final two innings for the Hurricanes. He allowed one earned run and struck out two while walking three. Cook, a transfer from DI University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, was tagged with the loss for Louisburg.
Parker's record remained at 5-3 after the start, while he raised his strikeout total to 49 in 56.2 innings of work.
At the plate, Bailey and Burgos had two hits apiece for Louisburg, and the two RBIs from Hicks led the team. Hicks, a sophomore from Poquoson, Virginia, now has 22 RBIs on the year and coming into Saturday's game was batting .357.
Next Up: The Hurricanes (31-21) return to the diamond on Sunday at 10 a.m. to face Spartanburg Methodist College(SMC) (28-25)in an elimination game. The two teams faced in mid-March, with the Hurricanes taking three of four from SMC. SMC dropped a 5-4 decision to USC Lancaster on Saturday.