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Vikings force Game 3

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D.H. Conley's Jack Carlyle runs to third base during a game against New Hanover on May 23, 2019. (Molly Urbina/The Daily Reflector)

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, May 23, 2019

After falling in Game One of the 3-A East Regional baseball finals Tuesday, No. 2 D.H. Conley rebounded on Thursday, defeating No. 1 New Hanover 10-0 in six innings to force a winner-take-all Game Three Saturday.

UNC Greensboro commit Robbie O’Neal threw a gem, tossing his first complete game of the season. He gave up three hits while striking out eight batters. 

“Robbie attacked the zone and he got his slider going tonight,” Conley head coach Jason Mills said. “He threw some really good change-ups in there as well. New Hanover is a great club. Tonight was our night and Tuesday was theirs. Saturday ought to be fun.”

With the win, O’Neal pushed his record on the mound to 5-0.

“It felt great being out there tonight,” he said. “I found my release point in the bullpen (before the game) and really found my slider. I have’t had that much this year, but I got ahead of hitters tonight, really pounded the zone. That’s what I pride myself on. I haven’t been able to do it lately, but tonight I finally got it done.”

O’Neal denied giving himself credit on the victory, but gave praise to his team for its all-around strong effort. 

“This one isn’t for me,” O’Neal said. “This win isn’t for me, it’s for the boys.”

Wildcats head coach Richard Foy was not happy with the mistakes his talented club made on the field.

“We made a couple mistakes we typically don’t make in the third inning when they scored their first two runs,” Foy said. “Then we weren’t able to respond with the bats. O’Neal gets credit for that. He pitched and located well. His change-up was really good. Then it kind of snowballed there at the end.”

Despite the result, Foy sees Saturday’s rubber match in Wilmington as a chance for a fresh start.

“I don’t think Tuesday or tonight has anything to do with Saturday,” Foy said. “I think what we got is something like our 18th one-and-done game in the past four years, so we have a one-and-done game, winner go to the house. We’ll have a good practice day tomorrow and see what happens.”

Towson commit Jake Lysaght had a strong night for the Vikings. He went 2-for-3, bringing in three RBIs and adding a stolen base. Cam Jackson (1-for-3, R, 2B, 3 RBIs), Jack Carlyle (2 Rs, BB) and Chandler Baldree (1-for-2, 2 Rs, BB) also had good nights.  

Carlyle and Baldree got Conley on the board in the third, thanks to RBIs from Jackson and Lysaght, respectively. The two sides then traded pop outs and strikeouts, as pitching once again took control. It was in the sixth when the Vikings’ bats got hot and blew the game open.

The eight-run explosion forced the Wildcats to turn to four different pitchers after starter Alex Sniffen (6.1 IP, 3 Hs, 3 Rs, 3 BB’s) was relieved. Alec Cortner (1-for-2), David MacCallum (1-for-2) and leadoff batter Jac Croom (1-for-2) were the only batters to earn hits on the night for New Hanover.

New Hanover will host the series final game Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

SOFTBALL

No. 2 Eastern Alamance 4, No. 1 D.H. Conley 3

No. 2 Eastern Alamance ended top-seeded Conley’s season Thursday, winning the series 2-0. 

The Vikings took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Eagles responded with three runs of their own before adding another in the bottom of the sixth.

Madison Bowers belted an RBI triple to make the score 4-2. She was followed by Anna Sawyer, who used a deep pop out to bring home Bowers and push the score to 4-3, but the comeback ended just short. 

DHC graduates 13 seniors from their roster: Bowers, Darci Anderson, Olivia Lee, Abby Ulffers, Peyton Farmer, Mary Ellen Kirby, Madison Rose, Alexis Phillips, Lexi Phillips, Lexi Vincent, Maggie Craig, Ainsley Mayo and Taylor Dunn.

LEGION BASEBALL

Post 39 11, Jacksonville 10

Post 39 picked up its second straight win Thursday night to open the season.

Hunter Christopher had a perfect night, going 3-for-3, hitting a triple and a home run and bringing in a game-high five RBI’s. Ryker Galaska (2-for-3, 2B, HR, RBI) also had a strong performance.

Jacob Peaden picked up his first win of the season on the mound, tossing two innings, giving up two hits, one run and three walks. He also struck out five batters.

Post 39 will be back in action on Monday at Clayton.

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