South Lakes Baseball Wraps Up Spring Season

South Lakes Baseball Wraps Up Spring Season

Seahawks edge Fairfax in play-in game before season-ending loss at Marshall.

Bobby Rae Allen pitched the seventh inning versus Fairfax last week, earning the save in his team's 8-7 playoff win.

Bobby Rae Allen pitched the seventh inning versus Fairfax last week, earning the save in his team's 8-7 playoff win. South Lakes Baseball

— Although it took more than 24 hours, the South Lakes Seahawks baseball team ultimately subdued the Fairfax Rebels to win their opening Liberty District Tournament game, 8-7. The first three innings were played on Tuesday, May 15 with Seahawk senior pitcher Billy McLaughlin opening on the mound.

In the top of the second inning, South Lakes' designated hitter Bobby Rae Allen singled to left field and Austin Gibbons parked a home run into the trees beyond the fence for a 2-0 advantage for the Seahawks.

The Rebels promptly halved the lead in the bottom of the frame with one run. South Lakes tacked on another in the third, however. Senior leadoff batter Ryan Forrest reached on an error; then McLaughlin and left fielder Kyle King both earned walks to load the bases. Allen made contact for another base hit, plating Forrest. McLaughlin, on the Allen hit, was called out on a close play at the plate. The Rebels batted around in their half of the third, scoring three runs to take a 4-3 lead.

But lightning was then spotted in the skies, which led to a suspension of action until the next day.

On Wednesday, May 16 the Seahawks scored a run in the top of the fourth inning. Junior second baseman Hayden Hall came home on a timely single by Jared Abelson, knotting the count at four apiece.

After junior hurler Bobby Rae Allen pitched a scoreless fourth, South Lakes tallied three runs in the top of the fifth. Forrest walked, stole second and moved to third on a McLaughlin single. King loaded the bases by drawing another walk. Allen, sustaining the sizzle at the plate, singled again to center, driving in two runs. Shortstop JoJo Lear drew a bases-loaded walk and then Hall drove in the third run of the inning with a walk. Fairfax got one back in the bottom of the fifth and the score stood at 7-5 South Lakes with two innings to go.

In the top of the sixth, with runners on first and third, sophomore Justin Cosing entered the game as a courtesy runner at first base. Moments later, McLaughlin, from third base, scored what proved to be the winning run on an attempted double steal, aided significantly by Cosing's heads up effort to remain alive in a run-down between first and second base. He was hung up long enough to allow McLaughlin to score.

Allen held the Rebels scoreless in the sixth and the Seahawks were blanked themselves in the opening frame of the seventh. Allen ascended the hill for the bottom of the seventh inning with South Lakes holding an 8-5 lead. He struck out the first batter before the next two hitters singled and homered respectively, closing the gap to 8-7. But Allen kept his composure and induced two ground outs to close out the hard-fought Seahawk victory, advancing them to the second round.

THERE, IN THE second round (quarterfinals) of the district playoffs, South Lakes, on Thursday, May 17, saw its season end with a 6-3 road loss at Marshall.

McLaughlin got his team off to a good start, smacking a two-run home run over the left center fence to drive in fellow senior and lead-off batter Ryan Forrest. The Statesmen stormed back in their half of the frame, scoring four runs as McLaughlin, the Seahawks' starting pitcher, struggled with his control. In the top of the fourth, Austin Gibbons drove in JoJo Lear with a single to get South Lakes within 4-3.

McLaughlin pitched out of trouble in both the third and fourth innings, aided in the latter by a spectacular diving catch by Josh Forrest in right field. But Marshall sealed the deal with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Austin Schweppe came on to pitch a scoreless seventh for South Lakes.

The 6-3 loss ended South Lakes' run in the Liberty District postseason tournament and brought the season and high school playing careers to a close for Seahawk seniors Billy McLaughlin, Ryan Forrest, Austin Schweppe, Michael Francis and Kyle Sather.

All Liberty District Honors

Three South Lakes players earned All-Liberty District honors this season. Senior Billy McLaughlin was selected to the first team All-District team. McLaughlin powered the Seahawks all season as the team's No. 1 pitcher and leading hitter. Offensively, he led the team with a robust .407 batting average, 14 runs batted in, and a .515 on base percentage. He also led the Seahawks in innings pitched (55) and strikeouts (22).

Senior Ryan Forrest was named to the second team. His versatility in the field had him playing centerfield, shortstop, and pitcher among other spots. Forrest led the team with 12 runs scored and seven stolen bases. Freshman Kyle King was selected third-team All-District. He led the Seahawks with three home runs and also knocked in 12.