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Comets baseball team downs LCA 11-8 in tourney opener

ROCKY MOUNT Things didn't look very good for the Halifax County High School baseball team early in Friday's opening game of the Franklin County High School Invitational Baseball Tournament.

The Comets trailed Liberty Christian Academy 6-0 after the top of the third inning and hadn't produced much offensively.

However, the Comets turned things around with five runs in the bottom of the third inning to close the gap to one run, and scored three runs in each of the next two innings enroute to a come-from behind 11-8 win that improved the team's record to 2-0 on the season.

"I commend my guys for not giving up," said Comets Head Coach Kelvin Davis in the wake of his team's first win over LCA in this tournament.

"This will help our confidence. It lets the guys know we can do the same thing throughout the season."

Will Harris led the Comets offensively with three hits that included a single, two doubles and four RBIs. Tristan Howerton had two hits, a single and a three-RBI triple that was a key play in getting the Comets back into the game.

In all, the Comets had 10 hits, with Ryan Yates getting two hits and Nick Anderson, Rufus Jeffress and Seth Elliott chipping in a hit each.

"Offensively, we're going to hit the baseball," Davis pointed out.

"We had the right guys on base and the right guys at the plate at the right time. It was a good win for us."

The five-run third inning ignited the Comets and got them back on track. Anderson reached base on an LCA error and Yates and Harris followed with back-to-back singles to load the sacks.

Tyler Stephens walked to force in a run and make the score 6-1. With one out, Howerton laced a triple to the outfield to score three runs. An overthrow to third base by LCA in an attempt to nab Howerton resulted in the ball sailing into the Comets' dugout. The home plate umpire awarded Howerton home plate, giving the Comets their fifth run of the inning.

The Comets took the lead with three runs in the fourth inning, with a two-RBI double by Harris giving the Comets a 7-6 lead. Harris scored when Rufus Jeffress reached base on an LCA error to put the Comets up 8-6

LCA tied the game with two runs in the top of the fifth inning, but the Comets took the lead at 10-8 in the bottom of the inning with a two-RBI double by Harris and the Comets went up 11-8 when Harris scored on a passed ball.

With the Comets holding the 11-8 lead, Patrick Barton went to the mound to close out the game. He shut the door on the Bulldogs by striking out each of the three LCA batters he faced in the final inning.

"Everything was right on time as far as his coming in and shutting the door on those guys," Davis remarked.

"Patrick is a guy that will throw strikes and we feel comfortable with him in there."