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Lions rip Park View for top seed in tournament

What was supposed to be a close game between host Halifax County Middle School and Park View for the East Division top seed for the upcoming Southside Middle School Conference Tournament turned into a rout, with Halifax County ripping previously unbeaten Park View 26-9 on Wednesday.


The Lions host West Division two seed Powhatan Monday in the semifinals of the conference tournament, having locked up the top seed despite a game at Park View Thursday to end the regular season.

“We played well.  We hit the ball, our pitchers threw strikes, and we played good defense,” said Lions Head Coach Jody Nelson.

Nelson added Halifax County, 7-0 in conference play and 12-2 overall, had already drawn the low number for the top seed in case of a tie in the regular season.

Halifax County rapped out 17 hits in its win over the Cougars on Wednesday, including 10 in a 15-run second inning that broke a 2-2 tie.

Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the first inning, the Lions responded with two runs on walks to Jake Hughes and Kelonte Gutrich, with Hughes later scoring on a passed ball and Gutrich on a RBI single by Jacob McKinney.

Halifax sent 19 batters to the plate in the second inning, with Hughes slugging a two-run double and two-run single, Gutrich an RBI double and RBI triple, McKinney an RBI double and Arthur Watts and Evan Irby RBI singles.

Brayden Moore, Andrew Abbott and Tyler Duffer added base hits to help make it 17-2 after two frames, before Park View added two runs on Lions’ errors and a double in the top of the third inning.

Halifax scored five runs in the bottom of the third off an RBI double by Gutrich and an RBI single by Abbott.  Eric Brandon III added a base hit and Tylik Powell walked and later scored on a balk to make it 22-4.

Park View added five runs on a two-run double, three hits, a walk and a Lions’ error in the top of the fourth inning, but Halifax added four runs to end the game in its at-bat, starting with a double by Kavon Fitzgerald, and ending with a RBI single by Tanner Bennett following two Park View errors.

Hunter Watts added a double in the inning for the seventh extra base hit for Halifax County in the game.

Abbott got the win on the mound for Halifax County, giving up four runs on three hits while striking out one batter in three innings.

Fitzgerald tossed one inning for the Lions, giving up five runs on four hits while striking out two batters and walking one.