Noah Latta was locked in a classic pitchers’ duel with Sanderson southpaw Kevin McSoley through the scheduled seven innings.
Then in the eighth, Leesville Road’s bats took over.
Jack Kaelin’s two-run triple was the centerpiece of a four-run rally in the eighth, leading the Pride to a 4-0 win over the defending conference champion Spartans in Cap-8 Conference baseball on a cold Friday night at Optimist Park.
About 300 fans were on hand as the Spartans conducted Spirit Night. The Pride (4-3, 2-1) won its third straight game while Sanderson (3-4, 1-2) suffered its third straight loss.
Latta (1-2) went 7 1/3 shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out eight against two walks before Will Sandy came on for the save.
McSoley (2-1) also lasted 7 1/3, allowing three hits and striking out a career-high 13 before suffering the hard-luck loss.
In the Leesville eighth, pinch-hitter Shawn Sergeant drew a leadoff walk, and then pinch-runner Sid Credle was safe on an error when Matt Wagner reached on a fielder’s choice. With one out Charlie Roby relieved Sandy, and after Ian Cummings walked and scored on a wild pitch Kaelin hit the triple to straightaway center. Ronald Evans’ sacrifice fly to center completed the scoring.
Sanderson’s Robbie Houston went 2-for-4 and was the only player with a multiple-hit game.
The return match is April 21 at Leesville Road, which has won 11 of their last 20 meetings.
Leesville Road’s next game is against visiting Enloe on Tuesday, while Sanderson’s next game is on Tuesday at Broughton.