“It’s certainly not the result we wanted.
It’s a series where we had chances to win it, but hats off to West Georgia as they came up with big pitches, plays or hits when needed,” explained Lee head coach Mark Brew. “We left a lot of runners on base again and can’t seem to get big hits when needed. It’s early and we have lots of opportunities left, but we need to clean up our mistakes and play more competitively from start to finish.”
The Flames sent seven batters to the plate in the opening frame. Thomas Zazzaro, who finished with three hits in five plate appearances, started the scoring uprising with a single. Alan Smith was hit by a pitch. Justin Fragale lifted a short fly ball to center which resulted in an error that allowed Zazzaro and Smith to score. Landon Silver singled home Fragale.
The Flames did not score again until the seventh inning. In the meantime, West Georgia was chipping away at the lead. In the third inning, Jason Fointno doubled and tallied the first score. Another two-base hit by Jermond Williams in the fourth and a single by Brody Wortham moved Williams to third. He scored on a one-base knock by John Michael McRae. A RBI single by Williams tied the game at three in the fifth.
Two infield ground balls that appeared to be sure double plays for the Flames allowed a West Georgia rally to stay alive in the sixth. The Wolves took advantage and gained a 6-3 lead. McRae and Dan Oberst stroked two-base hits while Wortham, McRae and Fointno crossed the dish. Wortham had four hits to lead the Wolves. McRae finished the afternoon with three hits while Williams had two. Fointno scored twice.
The Flames cut the margin to 6-4 in the seventh on a two-base hit by Dylan Standifer. He scored on a fielder’s choice by Fragale. In the eighth, Joshua Perez walked and Alan Smith singled. Luke Hughes put down a perfect safety squeeze that resulted in a hit and scored Perez. Zazzaro was also asked to bunt but it resulted in a big forced out at third. The inning ended with Lee stranding two base runners. Justen Freeman came on as a pinch hitter and delivered one of Lee’s other hits. All totaled the Flames stranded 11 base runners.
Sawyer Steele worked the final two innings for West Georgia. He gave up a hit, fanned two and walked one. CJ Fehriback also gave the Wolves three solid innings in relief of starter Ryan Parker. Fehriback allowed just one hit but he did walk four and surrendered two earned runs. He was credited with the win.
Alan Carter was the Lee starting pitcher. He worked four innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs, walking three and striking out three. Randall Coxwell was called on for 1.1 innings and surrendered four hits and three earned runs. Michael Hendricks followed for two-thirds of an inning, Alex Butler pitched one frame and allowed two hits and no earned runs. Seth Konkel was solid for the second straight day. In two innings, the lefty allowed a hit and struck out three.
The Flames will back in action for non-conference games on Tuesday at Carson-Newman and return to the “Carp” on Saturday and Sunday, facing Lewis University (Illinois) in a three-game series.