DAVIDSON — The Rockingham Pony All-Star team needed to play three games to keep its South Region championship hopes alive.
Unfortunately, it only got onto the field once.
Southampton-Sussex banged out eight hits and took advantage of nine base on balls by two Rockingham pitchers to pull out an 11-9 victory Saturday morning. The loss eliminated Rockingham from the tournament.
“Our pitching was a little off,” Rockingham coach Jeff Ingram said. “We had a great week, we just couldn’t win the close games.”
Rockingham’s first loss in the double-elimination tournament came in its first game, a 4-3 defeat to Davidson Force.
Southampton-Sussex scored three runs in the second, four in the third and another three in the fourth to take control of the contest.
Trailing 10-4 heading into the bottom of the fourth, Rockingham scored two in the fourth and tacked on three in the fifth to pull within one. Cameron Carraway launched a three-run home run to account for all of Rockingham’s runs in the fifth.
Southampton-Sussex added an insurance run in the seventh that Ingram said forced him to change his normal strategy of playing “small-ball” in the home half of the inning.
Rockingham’s Drew Loving reached on safely on an infield single to get things going in the seventh and stole second.
“Being down one, we could try and manufacture a run,” Ingram said. “But we needed to score two. We could have bunted him to third and bunted him home, but that would have meant we lost by one.
“We got a little behind, but we showed some good heart to come back.”
Nolan Allen, Alex Anderson and Loving all had one hit for Rockingham. Justin Ingram was 3 of 4 with a double and a triple in the loss.
Chesterfield won the South Region championship, defeating Davidson Force 26-5 Sunday afternoon. Chesterfield advances to the East Zone tournament this week in High Point.
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 or on Twitter @scgolfer.