The Port Arthur News
PORT NECHES —
If this was a Hollywood blockbuster, the Lumberton Raiders flipped the script on the Port Neches-Groves Indians Friday night at the Reservation.
The basis of almost every other baseball game for PN-G this year had the plot of the Indians taking an early lead, then riding its pitching to victory.
It was Lumberton which did exactly that Friday to the tune of a 9-3 victory to move to 5-3 in District 20-4A play. PN-G is now on a two-game losing streak and is 6-2.
“We have struggled playing from behind this year,” PN-G coach Scott Carter said. “When we are up on teams we are very hard to come back on. Tonight we were not patient at the plate.”
Lumberton did a good job of doing what every other opponent could not do against the Indians this year, chasing starter Lance LeDoux out of the game early.
LeDoux went two-plus innings and allowed seven earned runs on eight hits with two strike outs and one walk.
“LeDoux has thrown well all year long for us,” Carter said. “Today just wasn’t his day. He gave everything he had, I’ll tell you that. I am proud of all the kids’ efforts.”
Meanwhile, Trey Godeaux did his part on the mound for the Raiders. Godeaux went the distance and allowed three runs on seven hits with one walk and four strike outs.
Lumberton scored two runs in the top of the first and then really jumped on LeDoux and the Indians in the third.
The first seven batters up in the top of the third reached base for the Raiders.
Lumberton connected for five straight hits off LeDoux after a leadoff walk to knock the Indians starter out the game.
Logan Ashworth relieved LeDoux but the damage was done. Lumberton scored five runs in the inning on five hits and took advantage of PN-G’s second error of the game. Ashworth went five innings and gave up two runs on just one hit, with eight strike outs and three walks.
“I can assure you none of those errors were intentional,” Carter said. “These are still high school kids. A lot of people don’t understand that. I know they gave me their best tonight.”
Ryan Leckich got the Indians on the board in the bottom of the third with a two-run single to right to score Ky Walker and Logan Chipman.
The Raiders scored a run in both the fifth and sixth innings to take a 9-2 lead.
LeDoux then did get a bit of redemption in the bottom of the sixth with a one-out infield double. The hit fell between the plate and the pitcher’s mound and LeDoux never stopped running until he was on second base.
After Adam Morse had a pinch-hit single; designated hitter Skylar Finn scored LeDoux with a RBI fielder’s choice to make it 9-3.
“I can’t say anything was wrong with the kids after the last two games,” Carter said. “We just need to continue to play baseball. We felt fortunate to be 6-1 after the first round of district play. There were five to six teams who were within two or three games of first.
“You have to show up ready to play because this is a tough district. We knew that coming into the year. We are still in first place with six games left. We have to take care of us the rest of the way.”
PN-G hits the road Tuesday to face the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears. LC-M was defeated 5-4 Friday by Livingston. The Lions are now in a first place tie with the Indians.
Vidor, Lumberton and Nederland are all 5-3.