Neville 5, Bastrop 3
Caleb Luffey unfurled a two-hitter as Neville subdued Bastrop 5-3 Thursday night at Embanato Field in the opener of a three-game District 2-4A series.
Neville (16-10, 7-0) inflicted the bulk of its damage in the third, scoring four runs on three hits.
Dixon Houston reached on a leadoff error and moved to second on Oliver Campbell's one-out, bunt single. Two runs scored when Thomas Green singled and advanced to third as the throw to the plate was off line.
After Brian Barefoot was hit by a pitch, cleanup batter Michael Green extended the Tigers' lead to 4-0 with a two-run double to center.
Luffey was perfect through the first three innings, before the Rams responded with three in the top of the fourth.
Leading off, Cody Kinnaird walked on five pitches and Tristen Shanks singled. Next up, Jerry Powell blistered a two-run double down the left field line. Powell later took third on a wild pitch, setting up Gavin Pollock's sacrifice fly to center.
With still only one out, Maclendon Sharp reached on Neville's only error of the game, and courtesy runner Dollar Ridgell moved to third on a wild pitch and a passed ball.
But that was all the offense the Rams (7-12, 3-1) could muster against Luffey, who faced the minimum the rest of the way.
Capitalizing on two errors and a wild pitch, the Tigers added an insurance tally in the home half of the fourth to go up 5-3.
Finishing with authority, Luffey struck out five of the Rams' final eight batters. He struck out 10 and walked two.
Brian Barefoot accounted for a third of the game's six hits with a two-out double in the first and the key, two-run double in the third. Oliver and Thomas singled to round out the Tigers' attack.
Both Bastrop hits — Powell's double and Shanks' single — came in the fourth inning.
Bastrop's Maclendon Sharp, who was dealt the loss in the complete game effort, deserved a better fate. Allowing three earned runs on four hits, while pitching around four errors, the senior lefthander registered nine punchouts and walked only one.
The series concludes with two games at Baron Ballpark. Game times are 6 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday.