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More work ahead for Comets baseball

The Halifax County High School baseball team found out one thing for sure in the Franklin County High School Invitational Tournament – make mistakes against good teams and you will pay dearly. In a tough weekend, the Comets lost to Liberty Christian Academy 7-2 in Friday’s round, and dropped a 10-4 contest to Cardinal District opponent C.D. Hylton High School of Woodbridge Saturday afternoon.

The pair of losses dropped the Comets’ record to 1-2 on the season.

“We know we still have a lot of work to do,” pointed out Comets Head Coach Kelvin Davis in the wake of Saturday’s loss.

“We know more now about what we need to work on, and we will work on those things. It’s all a learning experience right now.”

Davis said he is not worried about the two losses taking a big mental toll on his players. The team will have a full week of practice ahead of it before it takes on Hughesville, Pa. High School here Friday at 7 p.m. in a scrimmage.

“This is just the beginning of the season,” Davis explained.

“A bunch of the guys here have been in this situation before. We lost some games last year, and got hot at the right time.”

In Friday’s game against LCA, the Comets took the lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Joe Martin led off with a hit, stole second base, moved to third base on a single by Patrick Barton and scored on a double steal in which Barton was nabbed in a rundown between first base and second base.

LCA scored twice in the top of the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead, with one run coming on a run-scoring triple and the second run scoring on a wild pitch.

Halifax County tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth inning with a one-out triple by Will Harris and a run-scoring hit from Ryan Puryear.

The Comets lost control of the game when LCA nailed Comets relief pitcher Ford Bradshaw, who came into the game to relieve starter Seth Elliott, for four runs off of three hits and two walks in the sixth inning to take a 6-2 lead.

LCA used a leadoff triple backed by a hit to add a run in the top of the seventh inning to account for the 7-2 final score.

Halifax County got out-hit 12-9 in the game. Will Harris led the Comets with a 3-4 night, with Puryear, William Worley, Martin, Barton, Rufus Jeffress and Dylan Hendricks each getting a hit.

It was something of a repeat scenario for the Comets in Saturday’s 10-4 loss to C.D. Hylton High School.

The Comets took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning with a two-RBI single from Barton that plated Cody Palmer, the pinch runner for pitcher Ryan Puryear, and Worley. Puryear had reached base on a walk and Worley reached base on a fielder’s choice in which Harris, who had opened the game with a hit, was forced out at third base.

C.D. Hylton took the lead with three runs in the second inning, two of which scored on wild pitches, to take a 3-2 lead.

A seven-run rally by C.D. Hylton in the third inning gave the Bulldogs a 10-2 lead. Four Comets errors contributed to the C.D. Hylton High School rally, and one run scored on a passed ball.

The best the Comets could do after that was post a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning. Ryan Yates led off with a hit and Bradshaw followed with another.

A run-scoring hit by Harris made the score 10-3. Bradshaw later scored on a wild pitch to make the 10-4 final score.

Halifax County had no hits in the last three innings of the game.

“The defense made a couple of crucial errors in that one inning,” Davis said of his team’s tough third inning.

“When you play a good team like that, we can’t afford to make the mistakes that we made. Good teams will make you pay for those mistakes.”