Miners split with Lakers, Gold swept by Tri-State
Lumpkin County’s Seniors of Swing got back to league play last week when the Lumpkin County Miners split a Clayton League doubleheader with the Lake Keowee Lakers and the Dahlonega Gold were swept by the Tri-State Pickups on Wednesday, June 5.
The LC Miners got off to a slow start in the first game of their doubleheader set versus the Lake Keowee Lakers.
The Miners’ defense allowed four runs in the top of the first inning after recording two quick outs, giving the Lakers an early 4-0 advantage. Lumpkin got a run back in the bottom half of the inning to cut the Lake Keowee lead to 4-1 when Wayne “Got Em” Gaddis belted a RBI single to left field.
Larry “The Rocket” Rodgers set the Lakers down in order in the top of the second with some help from his defense, giving the Miners a chance to cut further into the Lakers’ lead in the bottom half of the second. That is exactly what the Miners did, as Lumpkin scored three runs in the bottom of the second to even the score at 4-4.
Wayne “Happy Feet” Richards got the inning started off with a lead-off single to center. Jerome “Jackhammer” Kitchens advanced Richards to third with a single up the middle to give the Miners runners at the corners. Vince “Attaboy” Adams took advantage of the situation and connected for a two-run triple to deep left field that cut the Lakers’ lead to 4-3. Larry “Motoring” Morton followed with a RBI single to left to tie the game at 4-4. The Lakers got out of the inning without any further damage with a double play.
The Lakers proceeded to retake the lead in the top of the third when they scored five runs. Lake Keowee connected for six hits in the five-run third, giving the Lakers a 9-4 lead.
The Miners quickly bounced back in the bottom of the third with a five-run inning of their own. Bill “Bash Em” Boyer got the inning started off with an inside-the-park homer to cut the Lake Keowee lead to 9-5. “Hammering” Harvey Schmedlapp followed by legging out an infield single to the shortstop. With Schmedlapp at first, Jeff “MVP” Olsen belted a double to centerfield to give the Miners runners at second and third. Don “Powerhouse” Paul knocked Schmedlapp in with a RBI single to the gap in right center, cutting the Lakers’ advantage to 9-6. Gaddis kept the lineup moving with a RBI single to right field that scored Olsen and moving Paul to third. Gaddis was able to advance to second base on the play as Lake Keowee tried to throw the runner out at the plate. After a line out to first and and intentional walk that loaded the bases, Kitchens delivered a RBI sacrifice fly that had Lumpkin within a run of the Lakers. Adams followed with a RBI single to center to tie the game at 9-9.
Rodgers and the Miners’ defense held Lake Keowee scoreless in the top of the fourth to put themselves in position to take the lead in the bottom of the inning. However, the Miners were unable to score in the bottom of the fourth and the score remained tied at 9-9.
The Lakers came storming back in the top of the fifth and refused to let the Miners shut down their lineup, allowing them to score five runs and take a 14-9 lead. The inning was highlighted by two run-scoring triples, a RBI double and two RBI singles.
Trailing 14-9 headed to the bottom of the fifth, the Miners tried to chip away at the Lakers’ lead. A two-run home run over the center field fence off the bat of Paul cut the lead to 14-11. A bloop RBI single from Kitchens and a RBI single by Adams later in the inning allowed Lumpkin to get within one run of the Lakers at 14-13. Lake Keowee was able to get out of the inning without allowing another run to hold onto its 14-13 advantage.
Despite giving up two singles in the top of the sixth, Rodgers was able to hold the Lakers scoreless in the inning to stay within a run on the scoreboard. Lumpkin got the run they needed to even the score at 14-14 when Olsen blasted a RBI double to left field, but were unable to score anymore runs in the inning.
With the score tied 14-14 headed into the seventh and final inning, the Lakers’ bats once again got hot and plated eight runs, including an inside-the-park grand slam, in the inning to take a commanding 22-14 lead.
The bottom of the seventh looked promising for the Miners, as Gaddis rocketed a pitch off the top of the fence in left field for a solo home run. Unfortunately for Lumpkin, Gaddis’ bomb would be the only run they could produce in the inning. The lack of production at the plate in the final inning resulted in the Lakers taking game one by a final score of 22-15.
Game two would prove to be completely different for both teams.
Lumpkin started the game off by taking a 5-0 lead in the top of the first. Boyer led off the inning with a triple to the gap in right center. Boyer made his way around the bases for the Miners’ first run of the game when Schmedlapp connected for a RBI double to right center. With Schmedlapp on second, Olsen smacked a single to left that gave Lumpkin runners at first and second. The next batter, Paul, crushed a pitch to right for a RBI double. With the Miners up 2-0 and runners at second and third, Gaddis hustled out a RBI infield single to extend the lead to 3-0. The Miners received terrific base running on the next at-bat when both Olsen and Paul scored on a two-run sacrifice fly off the bat of Kitchens.
After taking a 5-0 lead in the top of the first, Lumpkin pitcher Jimmy “Four Quarters” Dollar induced three consecutive ground ball outs from the Lakers’ lineup to set Lake Keowee down in order. Dollar and the Miners’ defense would record five shutout innings against Lake Keowee in game two. The Lakers wouldn’t score their first run of the contest until the bottom of the sixth.
While Dollar was wheeling and dealing from the mound for the Miners, his offense continued to put runs on the scoreboard throughout the game. The Miners scored five runs in the top of the third, three runs in the top of the fifth and another five runs in the top of the sixth to take a 18-0 lead.
The Lakers got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 18-2.
With Lumpkin ahead by more than seven runs, the flip flop rule was enacted and the Lakers came back up to bat in the top of the seventh in hopes of tying the game with a big inning.
After getting two quick outs on a ground out to the pitcher and a groundout to third base, the Miners’ defense began to flounder. Three consecutive singles and a three-run inside-the-park home run on a misplayed ball in right field allowed the Lakers to close the gap between the two teams to 18-6. Lake Keowee recorded a double before Dollar induced a fly out to right field for the final out of the game.
Despite the defensive meltdown in the final inning, the Miners were able to hold on to the lead to take game two by a final score of 18-6. The win allowed Lumpkin to split the league doubleheader with the Lakers and kept the Miners in first place in the Sal DeVito Division standings.
While the Miners remained in first place with their split versus the Lakers, the Dahlonega Gold tried their best to pick up win number two on the season when they traveled to Meeks Park to square off with the Pickups.
Unfortunately for the Gold, Tri-State’s offense started game one with an offensive explosion that turned into a blowout 32-16 victory for the Pickups. The Gold tried their best to keep pace with Tri-State offensively, but were unable to match the Pickups’ production at the plate in the ballgame.
After losing the first game, the Gold put in a much better performance in game two against the Pickups. The two teams found themselves in a close game throughout the contest, but the Pickups eked out a 13-7 win to complete the sweep of the Gold.
The league doubleheader sweep dropped the Dahlonega Gold’s league record to 1-11 and kept them at the bottom of the standings in the Sal DeVito Division.
The Pickups moved into second place in the division, leap frogging Rabun County, with the sweep of the Gold.
The Miners (9-3) will be back in action when they take to the diamond at Meeks Park in Blairsville today, June 12, to battle it out with the Sal DeVito Division’s second place Tri-State Pickups (8-4) in a Clayton League doubleheader. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 10 a.m.
The Gold (1-11) will look to earn their second win of the season when they travel to Rabun Parks Department to take on the Gordy Scargle Division second place Lake Keowee Lakers (7-5). The two teams will square off on Clayton Field #6 with first pitch of game one slated for 10 a.m.