Orange senior pitcher Derek Lindaman carried the Panthers as far as he could on Tuesday before they fell 2-1 in nine innings at West Brunswick in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A playoffs.
“Coach (Dean Dease) just told me to go out there and battle them and that’s what I did,” Lindaman said. “If you get to the third round of the playoffs, you’re a solid team and that’s what I think we were.”
Lindaman carried a one-hitter and a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh before surrendering a game-tying home run to Garrison Gause with one out. Gause’s shot went barely over the center field fence.
Centerfielder Jaydin Poteat said he missed an opportunity for a rob it because he misjudged where the fence was.
“I had an eye on it but nobody told me how close I was to the fence or I think I would have had a good chance of robbing it,” he said.
Nevertheless, Lindaman was able to bear down and get out of the seventh with the game tied 1-1. It stayed that way until the ninth when he gave up a single to leadoff hitter Hunter Nicoll to bring Gause back to the plate.
Dease pulled Lindaman and sent out lefty Brian Werden, who walked Gause on four pitches. That prompted another pitching change as Dease brought in Ryan Puckett from behind the plate to try and stave off West Brunswick.
Puckett also walked the first batter he faced before giving up the game-winning single up the middle to Tanner Babson.