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Comets fall short

South Boston News
Drew Harlow makes the tag in Tuesday’s game against Freedom High School.
SoVaNow.com / June 07, 2018
Halifax County High School varsity baseball players certainly understand they had a genuine shot to advance to the state Final Four Friday.

The Comets came up short, however, following a late inning rally effort. Freedom High School held on for a gritty 5-4 decision. Freedom advanced to the state Final Four in Richmond in Class 5 action.

The Comets came up with two runs in the fifth inning and two in the sixth, closing within one run in the top of the seventh.

Dylan Clark drew a leadoff walk in the seventh inning, but he was rubbed out by a double play after a hard shot by Clay Lloyd. Freedom shortstop Will Schroeder made a bang-bang play to squelch rally hopes.

The season ended on a flyout by Shaun Perkins, who has played very well on first base all season and delivered some terrific offense this spring.

Halifax stumbled out of the gate, missing some early opportunities to do some damage.

Lloyd cracked a well-placed single and then Perkins delivered a tricky double into left. Just like that, with two out, Halifax had runners in scoring position. But Josh Barker struck out.

Freedom got on the board in its half of the first. Schroeder drew a two-out walk. He then scampered home on a blistering triple down the left field line by Kyle Schofield.

Schofield tried to roll home on an errant throw, but was rubbed out at the plate.

Halifax had more opportunity to create momentum in its half of the second.

With one out, Drew Harlow got a walk and Dawson Watts beat out an infield single. Will Scheier drew a four-pitch walk, loading the bases.

A double-steal attempt by the Comets failed, and Brayden Moore flied out.

Halifax had stranded four runners in the first two innings.

Halifax starter Carlton Redd had a tough second inning. Casey Cook reached on a Watts throwing error, and eventually scored on a two-out double into the gap by Michael Meglio.

Clark laced a leadoff double in the top of the third, and advanced on a sharply hit grounder by Lloyd.

But Clark was stranded, as Perkins fanned and Barker lined out.

Freedom made it 4-0 in the third. Jonathan Fisher singled and Schroeder walked, and Schofield lofted an RBI sacrifice fly after three stolen bases by the Eagles.

Jack Fitzgerald reached on a Harlow throwing error, getting another runner home.

Redd finished by allowing three hits, with one strikeout, He didn’t get much help from his defense.

Freedom added its fifth run - eventually the margin it needed - in the fourth inning. Meglio reached on a Harlow throwing error. Freedom got the runner to second and eventually third on stolen bases. Redd got pulled in the fourth, for Harlow. The Eagles added their fifth run on a throwing error by Lloyd.

From there, Harlow pitched extremely well, giving Halifax a chance to get back into the game. Harlow got stronger as the day wore on and finished with six strikeouts in the final two innings.

Halifax, which finished with 10 hits, got some pride back with a solo homer to left from Scheier in the fifth. Moore also cracked a double and scored on a successful double steal.

Halifax collected three hits in the sixth and got key RBI production from Lowery, who sent a double into the gap. Watts sliced an RBI single past second, and suddenly, Halifax was back in contention.

But the Comets came up empty in their final at-bat on the season.

Halifax had a terrific year and made the state tournament for the second year in a row under Kenneth Day.

Baseball can be an unforgiving game, and Halifax got a very disappointing dose of that in road action Tuesday.

Lloyd had two hits and Moore and Clark both produced doubles. Perkins also had a double early.

Watts hit two singles and Lowery also had a two-bagger.

But Halifax could not find enough consistency at the right time to break out a game-changing rally.

That’s baseball.

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