North Lenoir ends two-game skid, defeats Greene Central in baseball
North Lenoir’s Jamir Jones-Gatling races toward first base in Tuesday’s win against Greene Central. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News
LA GRANGE — North Lenoir wasn’t playing in any more uncharted territory Tuesday.
The Hawks defeated Greene Central 6-3 to snap a two-game skid in Eastern Carolina Conference play and overall. North Lenoir (6-2, 1-2) lost two straight ECC contests last year — the latter against the Rams — and started 0-2 for the first time since the conference was created in 2014. North Lenoir fell behind twice Tuesday, but prevented its first three-game ECC skid with the win over Greene Central (2-4, 1-2).
“This one meant a lot and hopefully it gets the ball rolling for us heading to the rest of the season,” Hawks starting pitcher Peyton Howard said.
Greene Central opened up the scoring with an RBI single from Cody Lanier in the top of the first, but North Lenoir answered in the bottom of the frame with a Brendon Grant sacrifice fly. The Rams retook the lead in the top of the third due to a North Lenoir error, but the Hawks struck back with a vengeance an inning later. First, Howard’s two-out base hit brought home a runner to tie the game at 2, followed by Austin Joyner’s 2-run single. Grant would follow with an RBI knock of his own to put the Hawks ahead 5-2.
“I knew (the pitcher) was coming with a fastball and I had to be careful because I had two strikes,” Joyner said. “He threw me something in my zone and I was able to hit it.”
Trey Fields hit an RBI single in the top of the fifth to bring the Rams within 5-3, but Howard’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the frame closed the scoring. Greene Central brought the tying run to the plate in the sixth and seventh, but North Lenoir got out of both jams to win.
Rams coach Scott Jones said the team had chances, but couldn’t convert.
“It was all about making plays and we didn’t,” Jones said. “We made too many errors defensively and North Lenoir took advantage, especially in the fourth. We have to relax a little bit more on the field and just make the right moves.”
North Lenoir faces C.B. Aycock at home Wednesday while Greene Central hosts Farmville Central Thursday.