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Firebirds baseball season ends in third round

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OXFORD — The Falls Lake Academy baseball team saw its season come to a close after a 1-0 defeat to Bear Grass Charter from Williamston on May 14 in the third round of the NCHSAA 1A playoffs.

Drew Fletcher started on the mound for the Firebirds and quickly fanned the first three Bears batters in the first inning. Fletcher sent the Bears packing in the top of the second inning with another strikeout and two ground balls for easy outs.

Falls Lake had an opportunity to break into the scoring column in the bottom of the second inning. Collin Johnson started the two-out rally with a walk. Trey Nuckles singled up the middle to move Johnson to second.

Chase Hester drew a walk to load the bases with two outs. Chase Edwards hit a grounder that was fielded by Luke Taylor and he tossed it to Logan Hale for the third out.

Trey Gregory drew a walk with one out in the top of the third inning, but Bear Grass left him stranded on base.

Falls Lake went quietly in the bottom of the third inning and the frame remained scoreless.

Tanner Lyle singled for the Bears in the top of the fourth inning and scored on a Ty Johnson single. The Bears had a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning.

With two outs, Johnson stepped to the plate. He singled for the Firebirds, but he was left standing at first at the end of the inning.

Edwards singled in the bottom of the fifth inning and then stole second, but Falls Lake could not advance Edwards beyond second base.

Bear Grass was on the verge of adding two insurance runs, but Falls Lake managed to stop the Bears from scoring with a strikeout and a ground ball to Colson Teal at shortstop.

The bats remained quiet for the Firebirds in the bottom of the sixth inning and in the bottom of the seventh inning and they never threatened to tie or take the lead.

Drew Fletcher was the starting pitcher and worked 6.2 innings. He scattered four hits, walked three and struck out 10 Bears. John Dunlow came on in relief and faced two batters.

Falls Lake Academy finished the season with a 16-2 overall record. The Firebirds earned the North Central 1A Conference title with a 12-0 record.