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Comets rally three times to edge Liberty Christian Academy 5-4

It took three rallies, including one in each of the final two innings, for the Halifax County High School varsity baseball team to win its home season opener. Designated hitter Ryan Yates capped the final rally with a game-winning bases-loaded single in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Comets a 5-4 win over Liberty Christian Academy here Tuesday night at Halifax County High School.

“I liked the way it (the pitch) looked,” Yates said after his game-winning hit.

“It was right up the middle, and I tried to go with it and hit it back up the middle.”

Yates added he was looking for a good pitch because he knew that with the bases loaded, the LCA hurler could not afford to walk him.

“I was looking for something down the middle because I knew he couldn’t throw it past the catcher because the runner on third would score,” Yates noted.

“I was looking for something pretty decent.”

The Comets trailed 4-3 heading into the bottom the eighth inning. Ford Bradshaw walked with one out, and scored on a triple by Dylan Sons to tie the game at 4-4. Patrick Barton walked and LCA intentionally walked Rufus Jeffress to load the bases with one out in the inning.

Yates then made LCA pay.

“To experience a come-back win like this is huge,” said Comets Head Coach Kelvin Davis.

“It was a good overall win for us. We did a lot of things we had been working on. I was very pleased with our performance.”

LCA took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning when LCA’s Ryon Price nailed a two-RBI hit off of Sons, the Comets’ starting pitcher. The Comets answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game for the first time.

William Worley led off with a hit, moved to third base on a double by Sons and scored when Barton grounded out for the second out of the inning. A hit by Jeffress scored Sons, who had moved to third base on Barton’s groundout, to tie the game at 2-2.

LCA plated a run in the top of the seventh inning to take a 3-2 lead. Halifax County answered by manufacturing a situation to score Jeffress, who had walked to start the inning, to tie the game at 3-3.

Back to back hits off of Barton, who went to the mound at the start of the sixth inning to relieve Sons, gave LCA a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth inning. That set up the Comets’ game-winning rally in the bottom half of the inning.

Halifax County had a good game offensively with nine hits. Yates and Sons had three hits each, with both players going 3-4 at the plate for the night. Worley had two hits, both coming in his first two trips to the plate, and Jeffress chipped in a hit.

As far as the pitching went, Sons recorded seven strikeouts, walked two batters and allowed four hits and two runs in his five innings of work. Barton fanned five batters, walked two, and allowed three hits and two runs in his three innings of relief work.

LCA had seven hits in the game, with Joshua Barrick, Hayden White and Price each getting two hits.