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Baseball comes up short against Potomac, 4-2

South Boston News
Dylan Clark fields the throw for the play at second. (David Conner II photo) / June 04, 2018
So close.

The Halifax County High School varsity baseball fell short in a tough 4-2 defeat to Potomac in Friday’s regional finals.

Halifax, playing at Potomac, had multiple opportunities. The Comets came close to emerging as regional champions. Regardless of the outcome in Dumfries, both Halifax and Potomac are still alive in Class 5 state championship action.

Halifax will travel to Freedom-South Riding. Potomac has a home game against Briar Woods, last season’s state champion.

Halifax is now 18-6.

“We played really well. We hit a bunch of hard hit balls that were really good. They turned (three) double plays,” said Comet head coach Kenneth Day, noting that the twin killings resulted in tough deals for the Comets.

“We played really well. We hit the ball good. Our pitching did really well for us,” said Day.

Baseball is often a game where a few inches or feet can make a dramatic difference, and this game fit that description.

Halifax had seven hits, including a three-for-three outing at the leadoff spot from Brayden Moore, who also scored the first run.

Potomac had eight hits, and the region D champions were better in the critical late innings, scoring the go-ahead run in the fourth and an insurance run in the fifth.

Halifax also stranded four runners and got caught in three double plays.

The Comets scored once in the first. Moore led off with a single and Dylan Clark doubled, and the first run of the contest scored on a two-out RBI groundout by Shaun Perkins.

The inning ended on a Josh Barker fly out.

Halifax got its second run in the third. No. 9 hitter Will Scheier reached on an error. Moore bunted and Scheier later scored on a RBI sacrifice by Clark.

Moore, however, was stranded at third.

The inning ended with groundouts by Clay Lloyd and a liner for the third out hit to the shortstop by Perkins.

From there, the Comets struggled, stranding runners in scoring position (at second) in both the fourth and fifth innings. Halifax got caught in a frustrating double play in the sixth, and then the Comets went down in 1-2-3 fashion in the seventh.

Meanwhile, Potomac scored once in the second, once in the third, once in the fourth and once in the fifth.

Halifax used three pitchers — Troy Ferrell, Colt LaRue and Christian Worley — and this trio worked effectively, hampered by a lack of run support.

In the Panthers’ second, starter Ferrell got the first two outs, but then yielded a walk and two hits. Leadoff batter Brandon Cleveland got the RBI.

Potomac’s Ben Thomas added another RBI single in the third.

Reliever LaRue issued a bases-loaded walk in the fourth to B. Mack to get the lead runner home.

B. Thomas scored in the fifth for the 4-2 edge.

Day noted some things went awry for the Comets. B. Thomas was credited with a steal of home for the fourth run.

Worley entered in the bottom of the sixth and got Potomac out in 1-2-3 fashion.

Ferrell struck out three, while allowing six hits. LaRue, entering with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, allowed two hits and fanned one.

Worley had two strikeouts.

Ferrell walked three and hit a batter, forcing a bases-loaded situation for LaRue.

“A couple of things did not go our way," Day said.

Halifax planned to practice Monday.

The Comets were also supposed to play Thursday, but stormy weather forced a postponement until Friday afternoon. Halifax had to stay in Northern Virginia an extra day, which is generally not a helpful scenario in prep athletics.

Day knows that Freedom, which has moved up from Class 4A, will represent a stout challenge Tuesday.

“They’re quality,” said Day of Freedom-South Riding.

Everybody is essentially 0-0 now heading into the final eight, and Freedom is coming off a 9-3 win over Briar Woods.

Freedom also played in a tough district with quality prep clubs.

Halifax got some frustration after some tough line drives. Halifax has to keep plugging away, Day said.

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