By LARRY WHITESports Correspondent
BAY MINETTE -- Faulkner State rallied in the eighth inning Thursday and won its conference home opener 5-4 over visiting L.B. Wallace.
Playing at Stanley James Field in Bay Minette, the Sun Chiefs trailed 3-2 in the eighth but erupted for three runs to take the lead. They then allowed a single run to the Saints in the top of the ninth but held on for the victory.
Coach Wayne Larker's Chiefs improved to 1-3 in league play with two more games scheduled for Saturday against L.B. Wallace, also in Bay Minette. The Saturday games ended after the Baldwin Register's deadlines.
Faulkner moved to 3-11 overall while LBW dropped to 8-14 overall and 1-6 in league action.
FSCC leadoff batter Chad Watson led the Chief attack with three of the eight Faulkner base hits.
The sophomore outfielder also had a pair of RBIs and scored a run. Blake Cooper added two hits while Chase Brewer, Cody Barber and Michael Tedesco had a hit apiece.
Barber had two RBIs and Brewer the other run knocked in.
Faulkner took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Watson hit a 1-0 pitch over the right-field wall off Wallace starter Steve Long. It stayed that way until the top of the fourth when the visitors tied it up with a run off Chief starter Joseph Carter.
The Saints used an error, a single, a hit batter and a single by Chad Mansman to score Jacob Dixon, who had reached on the FSCC infield error.
Larker's squad came right back and retook the lead with a single run in the bottom of the fourth.
Cooper led off with a single down the right-field line and went to second when Tedesco put down a sacrifice bunt.
Cooper then moved on to third on Chris Clement's ground out and raced home when Watson singled past second base.
But LBW bounced back and took a 3-2 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh. They used three consecutive two-out doubles to produce the runs.
Jack Materne doubled to right to start the two-out rally. He then scored on Travis Williamson's two-base hit to deep center.
Williamson then came home on Allan Harvin's RBI double to right.
Faulkner took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth with its own two-out rally, scoring three runs.
Cooper singled with two down and Tedesco followed with an infield hit.
Brewer then came in to pinch hit and his single scored Tommy Lott, who was pinch running for Cooper, from second and moved Tedesco to second.
Barber then got the game's key hit as the freshman from Daphne tripled to center to drive in two and put the home team in front 5-3. LBW managed a run in the top of the ninth but reliever Jeff Lyons shut down the rally and picked up the win. Lyons followed Carter and Jason Gavel, who had pitched the eighth.