Robert E. Lee junior Colton Carter entered Saturday’s game in a seemingly hopeless situation.
The Red Raiders trailed 4-0 to Nacogdoches in the top of the second and Dragons’ Brigham Hill had just doubled to lead off the inning, prompting the pitching change.
The righty reliever’s first pitch went to the backstop, enabling Hill to go to third. A long sacrifice fly then made it 5-0.
Carter did not allow another hit and ended up as the winning pitcher.
Lee erupted for 12 runs in the bottom of the third to defeat Nacogdoches 12-5 in five innings in REL’s final game of the 22nd Annual Rose City Classic at Mike Carter Field.
The game was called after Nacogdoches batted in the fifth because of the two-hour time limit.
“We talked about keep it there and give our offense a chance and that is exactly what he he did,” said Lee coach David Howard about Carter’s outing.
“I thought he did a fabulous job.”
Six Lee and Nacogdoches pitchers combined to issue 14 walks, hit five batters and throw three wild pitches.
Despite those unflattering statistics, Lee coach David Howard is only concerned with two — a 12-5 victory and 4-0 start to the season.
“It’s late in a tournament on a Saturday and it was just one of those games,” Howard said. “Four and 0 is a good first week and you take the positives out of that.”
Sophomore Daniel Bogue began the game for Lee, but lasted just one inning, giving up five runs, four earned, on three hits with two walks and three hit batters.
Nacogdoches led 5-0 with Dragons starter Reed Watson escaping a second-and third situation in the first inning and set Lee down in order in the second inning.
The third, however, was a different story altogether.
Beginning with Trace Reed — reached on an error — Lee sent 17 batters to the plate, most of which reached by a walk or hit batter. Tyler Jones singled to drive in one run, two more scored on a single by Blake Hamblett and another scored on a single by Ben Romines. The remaining seven crossed home by way of walk, wild pitch or hit batter.
When it was all over, Lee had turned a 5-0 deficit into a 12-5 lead.
Carter took it from there, allowing one batter to reach base on a walk in the remaining two innings.
The Red Raiders stay at home to face Sulphur Springs at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mike Carter Field.
“We’ve got a great team coming in here on Tuesday,” Howard said. “It will be a good challenge for us.”
Robert E. Lee 12,
Nacogdoches 5 (5)
Nacogdoches 410 00 — 5 3 1
Lee 00(12) 0x — 12 3 0
Reed Watson, Will Boozer (3), Luke McDaniel (3), Dakota Phillips and Phillips, Asthon Samford (3). Daniel Bogue, Colton Carter (2) and Tyler Jones. W — Carter (1-0). L — Boozer. 2B — NAC: Brigham Hill. SB — NAC: Patrick Ledet, Watson.
RECORDS — Nacogdoches 2-2; Robert E. Lee 4-0..
NEXT UP — Sulphur Springs at Robert E. Lee, 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mike Carter Field.
22nd Annual Rose City Classic
At Mike Carter Field
Nacogdoches 5, Sulphur Springs 4
Nacogdoches 2, Lufkin Hudson 0
Carthage 12, Kilgore 1
Robert E. Lee 10, Kilgore 0
Hallsville 9, Nacogdoches 5
Lufkin Hudson 4, Sulphur Springs 3
Carthage 3, Forney 2
Robert E. Lee 3, Forney 2 (8)
Lufkin Hudson 8, Kilgore 7
Lufkin Hudson 6, Forney 3
Hallsville 16, Kilgore 1
Robert E. Lee 12, Nacogdoches 5
Hallsville 9, Carthage 1
Carthage 8, Sulphur Springs 6