Bryse Wilson based-loaded single scored Jamiel Jordan and Jaydin Poteat in the bottom of the sixth inning Friday night as Orange defeated Chapel Hill 4-3 in a battle for first place in the Big-8 Conference at Panthers Field.
Orange (12-4, 5-1) took over first place in the conference going into next week’s two-game series with Northwood, which entered a Friday game against Cedar Ridge at 4-1 in Big-8 games.
Chapel Hill (12-4, 6-2) got a two-run homer from Connor Stough in the top of the first off Orange junior Derek Lindman, who didn’t give up another run in improving to 3-1. Lindman only allowed four hits the rest of the game.
The Panthers, who have struggled offensively while losing four of its previous five games, benefited from the return of All-American catcher Brad Debo to the lineup; he had missed seven games because of a broken finger. He went 1-for-3.
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Orange scored in the third inning when second baseman Jason Slaughter singled down the left field line, scoring Ryan Puckett (running for Debo, who reached via fielder’s choice) to cut the CHHS lead to 2-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Orange tied the game when Jordan reached on a two-out infield single, stole second, and scored off a looper to centerfield hit by Cameron Mehl.
Orange scored the game-winning runs in the sixth when third baseman Cole Campanile reached on an error. After a sacrifice bunt by Johnny Flynn moved Campanile to second, Jordan replaced Campanile as a pinch runner. Poteat reached when Stough, at shortstop, tried to throw out Jordan at second but failed.
With Debo at bat, Tigers’ pitcher Justin Anthony was called for a balk. Debo was intentionally walked, leading to Wilson’s game-winning hit.
Nick Elston scored for Chapel Hill on an RBI ground-out by Nick Hebert in the seventh, but Landon Riley ultimately earned his first save of the season.
Three To Know
Derek Lindaman: Lasted a season-high six innings for his third win to cement his status as second starter behind All-State candidate Bryse Wilson.
Bryse Wilson: 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs.
Cameron Mehl: 3-for-4 with an RBI, which supplied the game-tying run.
They Said It
“He’s been in the three hole for four years. The other teams respect him because they have to. When first base is open, they’re going to walk him. Then Bryse has to come through when that happens, and tonight he did in that last at-bat. We’re able to put people down in the lineup when they’re up (without him), and the rest of the team picks up on that.” Orange Coach Dean Dease on the return of Debo to the lineup.
By the Numbers
2012: The last time Chapel Hill swept the season series from Orange, which will have to wait another year.
13: Runs scored this season by Poteat, tops for the Panthers this season.
19: Hits so far by Mehl, which leads Orange.