A month to remember

There’s no better way to say this, than a big, fat THANK YOU! In May, we had an eye-popping 81,688 page views, the most for a month in Freedom ENC history. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that Kinston.com was only getting 300,000 or so page views for an entire month — of course, before the great Charlie Kraebel arrived in K-Town and kicked things into action for Kinston.com.

But that many for a simple blog is astounding. Thank you to everyone who made it happen by hitting their refresh buttons while LCC and their NL and SL baseball and softball games were taking place. You guys truly rock and I appreciate everything you’ve done to make this crazy thing a success.

Some of the best days included 7,436 on May 28, 6,458 on May 20, 5,165 on May 25 and 5,024 on May 29. Nearly all of that was driven by LCC fans checking in during the NJCAA D-2 World Series – who deserve the lion’s share of the credit here. But there were a ton of Hawk Krazees and Munn Maniacs (along with county and city folks checking in) who drove the traffic.

I realize this month will go down, since there are no prep or college sports going on, but that’s OK. I’ll (hopefully) have the All-Free Press baseball and softball teams completed this week, so we’ll post them here first. Also, the State Games of North Carolina regionals are being held in Kinston this weekend, and I’ll have the complete schedule and results here, too.

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get Senior and Junior American Legion results and standings up here, too, although I have a good chunk of this month that I will be taking off for vacation — meaning someone else could step up and help?

Again — thanks for everything you guys do. It’s worth the extra work when we have successes like this!

A note to the LCC players, coaches, fans and parents

Please consider this a most sincere and humble “thank-you” to all of you — the fans and family back home who simply broke records by hitting your “refresh” button hundreds and thousands of times and to the parents and fans who made the trip to Millington. Every one of you made me feel welcome and part of your Lancer family. This is a week that I will never forget and I appreciate every one of you.

Most importantly, though — thank you to the Lancer players who made the trip, along with Stony Wine, Lind Hartsell and C.C. Tilghman. The players were very, very patient with me, especially when we were on deadline so many times this week. To the players I interviewed after the last game on Thursday — there will be a follow-up notebook in Saturday’s paper, so if I didn’t get your quote in the final gamer in Friday’s paper, it will be in Saturday’s article.

As I told the five players or so I interviewed, I will tell the others on this team: it was an honor to cover you this year. Thank you for taking me on this ride with you!

Stony went well above the call in allowing me complete access to himself and his players. And I couldn’t have made this trip without the help of Coach Hartsell, who is a consummate professional who bleeds Lancer Blue. Also — thank you to LCC President Dr. Briley, who helped make it possible for me to make this trip.

Lastly, thank you, parents — you may have only had half the fans of LSU-Eunice, but you were consistently louder than they were. From Si Seymour to John Rouse to Ryan Norton’s parents to all of you — you made Kinston and LCC proud.

Again — this was a week I’ll never forget and I have all of you to thank for it!

FINAL from Millington, Tenn.: LSU-Eunice 17, LCC 5

The No. 1-ranked Lenoir Community College baseball team is set to take the field against No. 2 LSU-Eunice in the NJCAA Division 2 World Series in Millington, Tenn. It’s about 20 minutes to game-time; here are the lineups for both teams:

LENOIR COMMUNITY COLLEGE (54-11) visiting team

Kent Burford, 2B

Ryan Norton, RF

Ben Billingsley, SS

Brian Mills, DH

Brandon Rouse, 1B

Todd Seymour, LF

Bud Lanier, CF

Tyler Ham, C

Hunter Chase, 3B

LCC’s starting pitcher is Billy Dudding

LSU-EUNICE (51-12)

Boomer Blanchard, SS

Delta Cleary, CF

Matt Creel, 2B

Kellen Bozeman, 1B

Tyler Slocum, DH

Perry Smith, RF

Brady Borque, 3B

Nate Peterson, C

Chase Blanchard, LF

LSUE’s starting pitcher is RHP Ryan Boudreux

It’s 7:25 and the starting lineups are being introduced. It’s 81 degrees and sunny. Weather is not going to be a problem tonight.

The first pitch, a strike to Burford, is delivered at 7:33 p.m.

Middle of first inning: LCC 2, LSUE coming to bat — Burford and Norton lead off inning with singles, with Burford advancing to third on Norton’s single. After Billingsley pops out for the first out, Mills scores Burford on an infield error. Rouse flies out for the second out and Seymour sends Norton home with an RBI single. Mills and Seymour advance to third and second on a throwing error by the LSUE LF. Lanier Ks to end the inning

End of first inning: LCC 2, LSUE 1 — Blanchard flies out and Cleary hits a home run to deep right field. Creel flies out for the second out and Dudding strikes out Bozeman to end inning

Middle of second inning: LCC 2, LSUE 1 — Chase gets a one-out single, steals second and advances to third on Burford’s groundout to first base. After Norton walks, Billingsley ends the inning by flying out to CF

End of second inning: LSUE 4, LCC 2 – Smith hits a one-out double over Norton’s head and is moved to third on Brady Borque’s single to left field. Peterson hits a sacrifice fly to deep right centerfield to tie the game at 2-2. Borque stole second and scores on a single by Chase Blanchard, who steals second himself. Chase Blanchard is singled home by Boomer Blanchard, who gets to second on the throw to the plate. Cleary grounds out to first for the final out

Middle of third inning: LSUE 4, LCC 2 — Boudreaux gets LCC 1-2-3

End of third inning: LSUE 6, LCC 2 — Bozeman earns a one-out HBP and goes to third on Slocum’s double. Smith’s single sends Bozeman and Slocum home with a 6-2 lead. Dudding (2 1/3 IP, 7 hits, 6 runs, 6 ER, 0 BBs, 1 K, 1 HBP) is taken out of the game for Keith Spinner. Ham catches Smith off first base for the second out and Spinner strikes out Borque for Out 3

Middle of fourth inning: LSUE 6, LCC 2 — Boudreaux gets LCC 1-2-3; he’s retired 7 in a row

End of fourth inning: LSUE 11, LCC 2 — Peterson walks to lead off the inning but is out at second on Chase Blanchard’s fielder’s choice. Chase Blanchard steals second and goes to third on Boomer Blanchard’s flyout to deep centerfield. Spinner walks Cleary and is followed by Creel’s triple to right field that scores Chase Blanchard and Cleary. Bozeman doubles home Creel for a 9-2 lead. Spinner (1 1/3 IP, 2 hits, 4 runs, 4 ER, 2 BBs, 1 K) is replaced by Drew Sowers, who promptly hits Slocum with his first pitch. Smith singles to score Bozeman and Borque is HBP to load the bags. Peterson advances to first on catcher’s interference and that scores Slocum for an 11-2 lead. Finally, Chase Blanchard — the 11th Bengal to hit in the inning — ends the frame by popping up to second base… Whew.

Middle of fifth inning: LSUE 11, LCC 2 — Boudreaux gets LCC 1-2-3 on 6 pitches. He’s retired 10 in a row, including throwing only 22 pitches the past three innings. Wow.

End of fifth inning: LSUE 12, LCC 2 — Boomer Blanchard leads off inning with a HR to left field. Cleary is HBP, Sowers’ third-such victim, but is caught stealing for the first out. Sowers strikes out Creel looking and Bozeman grounds out to third for final out. There is no 10-run rule in this game, since it is a championship game.

Middle of sixth inning: LSUE 12, LCC 3 — Mills gets his first hit of the World Series, a single, to lead off the inning. Taylor Ginn replaces Brandon Rouse and pops up to third base for the first out. Seymour gets his second hit of the game, a single, to advance Mills to third base. A wild pitch to Lanier scores Mills and sends Seymour to second. Lanier grounds out to first to send Seymour to third. Ham grounds out to shortstop to end the inning.

End of sixth inning: LSUE 14, LCC 3 — Slocum leads off inning with a single on the first pitch and scores on a double by Smith — his fourth hit of the game, along with 4 RBIs. Sowers is taken out of the game for Dewitt Pope, who promptly gives up a double to Borque that scores Smith. Peterson mercifully gets the first out by flying out to left field and Pope strikes out Chase Blanchard for Out 2. Boomer Blanchard grounds out to short for the final out of the inning

Middle of seventh inning: LSUE 14, LCC 4 — Burford hits a one-out HR to left field. Norton pops up to the infield for the second out and is followed by Billingsley’s single to left field. Mills ends inning by flying out to left field

End of seventh inning: LSUE 17, LCC 4 — Cleary leads off the inning by reaching first on a Billingsley error and is followed by Creel, who flies out to right field. Bozeman reaches on a dropped pop-up by Ginn at first base. Pope walks Slocum to load the bases. Smith hits a sacrifice fly to right field to score Cleary. Borque singles to score Bozeman and Pope is removed from the mound in place of Barrett Stover. Stover is greeted by a single to right field by Peterson that scores Slocum. The third out is a flyout to centerfield by Chase Blanchard.

Middle of eighth inning: LSUE 17, LCC 5 — Ginn doubles to lead off inning and goes to third on Seymour’s single, his third hit of the game. Ginn scores on a fielder’s choice by Lanier. Pinch-hitters Lance Murray and Shawn Lovette end the inning by popping out to second base

End of eighth inning: LSUE 17, LCC 5 — Stover retires ‘em 1-2-3, two by K. RALLY TIME!

FINAL: LSUE 17, LCC 5 — Boudreaux gets ‘em 1-2-3 to end the game. He went the distance.

Lancers finish second in the nation. Great season, LCC

LCC’s World Series stats

Updated through Wednesday’s win against Monroe (N.Y.) CC:

Hitting

Ryan Norton — .462 (6-for-13), 7 RBIs, 3 run, 2 BBs

Kent Burford — .438 (7-for-16), 2 RBIs, 5 runs, 1 BB

Bud Lanier — .308 (4-for-13), 2 RBIs, 0 runs, 2 BBs

Ben Billingsley — .357 (5-for-14), 0 RBIs, 3 runs, 2 BBs

Greg Dissenger — .286 (2-for-7), 1 RBI, 1 run, 0 BB

Todd Seymour — .154 (2-for-13), 0 RBIs, 2 runs, 2 BBs

Taylor Honeycutt — .111 (1-for-9), 0 RBIs, 1 run, 1 BB

Hunter Chase — .083 (1-for-12), 1 RBI, 2 runs, 1 BB

Brandon Rouse — .077 (1-for-13), 1 RBI, 0 runs, 3 BBs

Brian Mills — .000 (0-for-7), 1 RBI, 0 run, 0 BB

Tyler Ham — .000 (0-for-3, 0 RBI, 0 runs, 0 BB

Pitching

T.J. Hinson — 2 GP, 2 GS, 15.1 IP, 16 hits, 6 runs, 6 ER, 0 BB, 9 Ks, 3.52 ERA

David Combs – 4 GP, 0 GS, 5.2 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 3.18 ERA

Drew Sowers — 1 GP, 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 Ks, 4.16 ERA

Keith Spinner — 1 GP, 0 GS, 3.1 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 5.41 ERA

J.B. Brewer — 1 GP, 0 GS, 3 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 3 ER, 4 BBs, 2 Ks, 9.00 ERA

Brandon Price — 1 GP, 0 GS, 0.2 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 26.99 ERA

Barrett Stover — 1 GP, 0 GS, 0.1 IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 54.55 ERA

Darrin Tew — 1 GP, 1 GS, 0 IP, 4 hits, 4 runs, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, infinity ERA

FINAL from Millington, Tenn.: LCC 5, Monroe (N.Y.) CC 4

The Lenoir Community College baseball team has its back against the wall as it prepares to face Monroe (N.Y.) Community College. It’s 7:10 p.m., about 15 minutes from game time.

Starting lineups:

LENOIR CC (53-11)

Kent Burford, 2B

Ryan Norton, RF

Ben Billingsley, SS

Greg Dissenger, DH

Brandon Rouse, 1B

Todd Seymour, LF

Bud Lanier, CF

Tyler Ham, C

Hunter Chase, 3B

LCC’s starting pitcher is T.J. Hinson

MONROE (N.Y.) CC 41-14

Kaleb Cunningham, SS

Dan Kaplan, 2B

Nathan Grabowski, CF

Cory Brownsten, C

Steve Muoio, 1B

Matt McGovern, 3B

Jamie Fitzgerald, DH

Jeff Osler, LF

Ryan Gleason, RF

Monroe’s starting pitcher is Steve Forster

The first pitch, a strike from Forster, is delivered at 7:28 p.m.

Middle of first inning: LCC 2, MCC coming to bat — Burford leads off game with a single and is followed by a walk to Norton. Billingsley strikes out looking. During Dissenger’s at-bat, the MCC pitcher overthrows first base for an error that scores Burford and sends Norton to third. Dissenger hits a long sacrifice fly to center field that scores Norton for the 2-0 lead

End of first inning: LCC 2, MCC 0 — Hinson gets ‘em 1-2-3

Middle of second inning: LCC 3, MCC 0 — Seymour leads off inning with single and scores on a double by Lanier. Ham grounds out to short, but advances Lanier to third base. Chase pops up to second base for the second out while Burford grounds out to second for the final out of the inning

End of second inning: LCC 3, MCC 2 — Muoio gets a one-out single. He scores when Jamie Fitzgerald has a two-out double to centerfield and Lanier bobbles the ball for an unearned run. Fitzgerald advances to third on a Hinson balk. Osler earns a full-count walk and is followed by a fly to short centerfield that Seymour and Billingsley let drop between them. Cunningham gets the final out.

Middle of third inning: LCC 4, MCC 2 — Norton leads off inning with HR to left field on the first pitch. Billingsley and Dissenger strike out, while Rouse pops up to end the inning

End of third inning: LCC 4, MCC 2 — Kaplan singled to left field and advanced to second on a Seymour outfield error. Seymour later was charged with another error when he dropped a foul ball in the bullpen, but Hinson retired the final three Tribunes in order. LCC already has three OF errors

Middle of fourth inning: LCC 4, MCC 2 — Lanier hits a one-out single but advances to second on a throwing error by MCC SS. Ham grounds out to second but advances Lanier to third base. Chase grounds out to second to end the inning

End of fourth inning: LCC 4, MCC 3 — Hinson retires the first two mighty, mighty Tribunes before Osler hits an infield single to the right side. Gleason gets his second RBI of the night when he hits a drive to the gap in right field for a double that scores Osler. Cunningham grounds out for final out of the frame

Middle of fifth inning: LCC 5, MCC 3 — Burford leads off inning with 3B and is driven home by Norton’s 2B. MCC makes a pitching change to LHP Patrick Urckfitz. Billingsley earns a walk and Dissenger goes down swinging for the first out. In Rouse’s AB, Norton is thrown out at third in a double-steal attempt. Rouse strikes out swinging for the final out

End of fifth inning: LCC 5, MCC 3 — Hinson gets ‘em 1-2-3, two by K

Middle of sixth inning: LCC 5, MCC 3 — Urckfitz gets the first two, then hits Ham. Chase flies out to center to end inning

End of sixth inning: LCC 5, MCC 3 — Hinson gets ‘em 1-2-3 on 8 pitches. He’s up to 80 pitches through six innings

Middle of seventh inning: LCC 5, MCC 3 — Urckfitz gets ‘em 1-2-3, the last two by K

End of seventh inning: LCC 5, MCC 3 — Gleason and Cunningham get one-out singles, but a 6-4-3 double play ends the inning

Middle of eighth inning: LCC 5, MCC 3 — Urckfitz gets ‘em 1-2-3. He now has six Ks

End of eighth inning: LCC 5, MCC 4 — Hinson gets the first out, then gives up back-to-back singles to Brownslen and Muoio. Brownslen goes to third on Muoio’s single and LCC coach Stony Wine pulls Hinson (7 1/3 IP, 10 hits, 4 runs, 4 ER, 0 BBs, 3 Ks) for David Combs, who is making his fourth appearance in the World Series, meaning he’s pitched in every game for LCC. Combs gets a groundball from McGovern, but it scores Brownslen. Combs throws a wild pitch that snds McGovern to second, then hits Fitzgerald. Combs gets a groundball out from Osler to end the inning

Middle of ninth inning: LCC 5, MCC 4 — Urckfitz gets ‘em 1-2-3. He has 7 Ks and is the real deal

FINAL: LCC 5, MCC 4 — Combs gets ‘em 1-2-3 to earn the save.

The Lancers advance to Thursday night’s game against LSU-Eunice. The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. CDT, 8:30 p.m. EDT.

LCC’s World Series statistics

Through three games:

Hitting

Greg Dissenger — .500 (2-for-4), 0 RBIs, 1 run, 0 BB

Ben Billingsley — .455 (5-for-11), 0 RBIs, 3 runs, 1 BB

Kent Burford — .416 (5-for-12), 2 RBIs, 3 runs, 1 BB

Ryan Norton — .400 (4-for-10), 5 RBIs, 1 run, 1 BB

Bud Lanier — .222 (2-for-9), 1 RBI, 0 runs, 2 BBs

Hunter Chase — .125 (1-for-8), 1 RBI, 2 runs, 1 BB

Brandon Rouse — .111 (1-for-9), 1 RBI, 0 runs, 3 BBs

Todd Seymour — .111 (1-for-9), 0 RBIs, 1 run, 2 BBs

Taylor Honeycutt — .111 (1-for-9), 0 RBIs, 1 run, 1 BB

Brian Mills — .000 (0-for-7), 1 RBI, 0 run, 0 BB

Analysis: the first three in the batting lineup (Burford, Billingsley and Norton) are a combined 14 for 33 (.424) with 8 RBIs. The other six positions (including both DHs — Mills and Dissenger) are a combined 7 for 55 (.128). It’s this simple — the other six batters need to step up for LCC to be successful the rest of the way in this World Series.

Pitching:

T.J. Hinson — 1 GP, 1 GS, 8 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 Ks

David Combs – 3 GP, 0 GS, 4 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks

Drew Sowers — 1 GP, 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 Ks

Keith Spinner — 1 GP, 0 GS, 3.1 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks

Darrin Tew — 1 GP, 1 GS, 0 IP, 4 hits, 4 runs, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

J.B. Brewer — 1 GP, 0 GS, 3 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 3 ER, 4 BBs, 2 Ks

Barrett Stover — 1 GP, 0 GS, 0.1 IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Brandon Price — 1 GP, 0 GS, 0.2 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks

Analysis: The Ironman here has been David Combs, who has pitched in all three games, winning the second game (vs. Grand Rapids CC). Tew has simply self-destructed his past two appearances, losing the 23-5 game to Frederick in Maryland and the 13-3 game today. He is much better than he has shown and — having thrown so few pitches in his past two appearances (23 vs. FCC and 15 against LSUE) — he could come back if needed.

FINAL from Millington, Tenn.: LSU-Eunice 13, LCC 3 (6)

When this game is resumed at 3 p.m. CDT (4 p.m. EDT), the Lancers are trailing 7-3 with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning. I’ll pick it up at the point where the rain stopped the game last night.

The winner of this game is off until 7:30 p.m. CDT on Thursday; the loser has to turn around and play today at 7:30 p.m. against Monroe (N.Y.) Community College in an elimination game.

2:35 p.m. update: The teams have just finished infield and the forecast looks good. It’s overcast, but not raining and it doesn’t look like there will be rain. The game should resume at just around 3 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF GAME AT 2:58 P.M.: With one out, Kellen Bozeman is on third base and Tyler Slocum is on second. Barrett Stover (1/3 IP, 1 hit) is relieved on the mound by David Combs.

End of fourth inning: LSUE 11, LCC 3 — Perry Smith triples to start the resumed game, scoring Bozeman and Slocum. After Combs strikes out Borque, Nate Peterson hit a HR to right field that scores himself and Smith.

Middle of fifth inning: LSUE 11, LCC 3 — LSUE’s new pitcher is Josh Bailey, who replaces Corey Lopez (4 IP, 2 hits, 3 runs, 1 ER, 4 BBs, 4 Ks). Bailey gets Kent Burford and Ben Billingsley for the first two outs, then walks Ryan Norton on four pitches. Norton is stranded at first, though, as Mills flies out to centerfield for the final out

End of fifth inning: LSUE 11, LCC 3 — Combs retires LSUE 1-2-3

Middle of sixth inning: LSUE 11, LCC 3 — Brandon Rouse walks to lead off inning and is followed by a single by Todd Seymour. Bud Lanier strikes out, Taylor Honeycutt pops up to third and Hunter Chase strikes out looking to end inning.

FINAL: LSUE 13, LCC 3 — Bozeman leads off inning with a home run off new LCC pitcher Brandon Price on the first pitch offered. After Price retires Slocum, he strikes out Perry Smith, who reaches first on a wild pitch. Following a walk to Peterson, Blanchard ends the game with a single to shallow centerfield that scores Smith with the final run in the mercy rule-shortened game.

The Lancers have a few hours off until they face Monroe (N.Y.) Community College at 7:30 p.m. CDT, 8:30 p.m. EDT. Come back then for more live coverage from Millington, Tenn.

LIVE from Millington, Tenn.: Rain postpones LCC vs. LSU-Eunice to Wednesday

The game is scheduled to begin in 20 minutes, but it’s probably going to be later than that … the tarp has been pulled onto the field and it’s pouring rain right now.

Nonetheless, here are the starting lineups for each team:

LENOIR COMMUNITY COLLEGE (53-10) — visiting team

Kent Burford, 2B

Ben Billingsley, SS

Ryan Norton, RF

Brian Mills, DH

Brandon Rouse, 1B

Todd Seymour, LF

Bud Lanier, CF

Taylor Honeycutt, C

Hunter Chase, 3B

LCC’s starting pitcher is Darrin Tew

LSU-EUNICE (50-12)

Boomer Blanchard, SS

Delta Cleary, CF

Matt Creel, 2B

Kellen Bozeman, 1B

Tyler Slocum, DH

Perry Smith, RF

Brady Borque, 3B

Nate Peterson, C

Chase Blanchard, LF

LSU-Eunice’s starting pitcher is Cory Lopez

7:45 p.m. CDT update: The tarp is still on the field and the coaches are conferring with stadium officials. It’s not raining right now, but radar shows there’s a few patches getting ready to come through. I’ll keep you up to date…

7:50 p.m. CDT update: Getting set to pull the tarp off the field, but the game will still be a few minutes from beginning. LCC has not taken infield yet, so that’ll be at least 10 minutes for that. Lind Hartsell projects the game will begin at 8:34 p.m. CDT. I promise not to bust his chops if he’s off again

8:05 p.m. CDT update: LCC is taking infield; Hartsell’s prediction is looking good for 8:34 p.m.

8:20 p.m. CDT update: Coaches are meeting at home plate

First pitch, a strike to Kent Burford by Cory Lopez, is delivered at 8:28 p.m.

Middle of first inning: LCC 2, LSUE coming to bat — Billingsley gets a one-out single and is followed by Norton’s single to left field. However, LSUE LF Chase Blanchard tries to scoop Norton’s hit and the ball goes by him for an error. The error allows Billingsley to come home and Norton to get to second. Mills hits a sharply-struck ball to LSUE shortstop Boomer Blanchard, who lets the ball bounce off his glove for the second error that allows Norton to come home. Rouse hits into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

End of first inning: LSUE 4, LCC 2 – Boomer Blanchard hits a leadoff single and is followed by Cleary’s single to right. Creel hits a single to right field that scores Blanchard. Bozeman hits a ball to LCC SS Ben Billingsley that Billingsley misthrows to second for an error that scores Cleary for a 2-2 tie. Tyler Slocum hits a single to right field that scores Creel for a 3-2 lead. LCC coach Stony Wine removes Tew from the game without the leftie getting an out. J.B. Brewer now pitching for LCC. Smith squeeze-bunts Bozeman home for a 4-2 lead and the first out, while Borque grounds out to third for Out 2. This is the first time in the World Series that LCC has trailed. Good catch, ECP11 — I fixed the lineup

Middle of second inning: LSUE 4, LCC 3 — It’s now raining pretty hard at the ballpark. Seymour and Lanier lead off inning with walks from Lopez. Honeycutt fails to bunt successfully and gets the first out on a bunt third strike. Seymour and Lanier steal third and second. Chase grounds out to second, but it scores Seymour to make it 4-3. Burford gets the final out by flying to center field

End of second inning: LSUE 6, LCC 3 — Boomer Blanchard walks and Cleary singles to center to begin bottom of second. Creel flies out to foul territory in right field for the first out, but Blanchard and Cleary advance to third and second. Bozeman hits a two-RBI 1B to left field that scores Blanchard and Cleary. Slocum flies out to centerfield and Brewer strikes Smith out

Middle of third inning: LSUE 6, LCC 3 — Lopez gets LCC 1-2-3. You can listen to the game live on streaming audio at http://www.oldies925.com/. But come back here often for your analysis! Thanks to Johnny Kennedy and Sue Smith for the heads-up…

End of third inning: LSUE 7, LCC 3 — Brewer gets first two Bengals out, but walks Chase Blanchard, who steals second. He scores on a single by Boomer Blanchard to right centerfield. Cleary makes it to first on a Billingsley error, but Boomer Blanchard is thrown out at the plate trying to score

Middle of fourth inning: LSUE 7, LCC 3 — Rouse leads off inning with a walk, but Seymour strikes out for the first out. Lanier earns a one-out walk and is followed by Honeycutt and Chase, who each strike out

RAIN DELAY! One out in bottom of fourth inning: LSUE 7, LCC 3 — Brewer walks Creel to lead off inning and Wine removes Brewer. Barrett Stover comes on in relief. Final pitching numbers for Darrin Tew (0 IP, 4 hits, 4 runs, 3 ER, 0 BBs, 0 Ks) and Brewer (3-plus IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 3 ER, 4 BBs, 2 Ks). Stover coaxes a fielder’s choice from Bozeman and is followed by double by Slocum. However, heavy rain is now falling and they’re rolling the tarp out at 9:52 p.m.

Update at 10:15 p.m.: It’s still raining, but it appears to be clearing behind it. How about some late-night baseball?

Update at 10:35 p.m.: The rain had died down but has picked back up. No timetable set yet for the resumption of the game

Update at 11 p.m.: Yep, it’s still raining. Still waiting.

11:10 p.m.: GAME POSTPONED TO WEDNESDAY AT 3 P.M. CDT, 4 P.M. EDT. I’ll have your updates here then. Thanks for hanging out all night!

Notes and nuggets

Some things bouncing around in my noggin while I sit around hoping LCC’s game is played tonight…

  • Be sure to come back here at 8:30 p.m. your time, when I’ll be posting updates from the NJCAA D-2 World Series game between No. 1 LCC and No. 2 LSU-Eunice. It should be a hell of a game.
  • I said it in an earlier post, but the weather here is crazy. I was here in 2004 when LCC made it to the Series and it was the same deal — tornado warnings EVERY DAY, raining all the time, then sunny. I like Memphis, but I don’t think I could live here.
  • Went to the Nashville Sounds-Memphis Redbirds game yesterday at Autozone Park in downtown Memphis. It’s a gorgeous park that is relatively new. It’s built sort of like the new Durham Bulls park, if you’ve been there. One of the coolest things, though, is when a Redbird reaches base on balls, they play this song. Awesome!
  • I’ve been totally spoiled by satellite radio (I have Sirius) in my POV. My 13-hour drive to Millington was taxing at times — not by trying to update the blog while driving (!) but by having to listen to terrestial radio. I just can’t listen to it anymore! Thank God my rental car has a jack for my iPod.
  • You saw it below, but congrats to Mount Olive for the Trojans’ come-from-behind win yesterday. The Trojans are scheduled to play against Ashland (Ohio) College at 6:30 p.m. Kinston time today, but I just got off the phone with Sue Novicki (who’ll provide the half-inning updates) and she said she is doubting they get it in because of all the rain in the area. In fact, she was just climbing out of a shelter they made everyone climb into because of a tornado warning. Bad weather all around, I guess.
  • South Lenoir softball folks — don’t think I’ve forgotten about you. Depending on how long LCC stays in (or wins!) this tournament, I’ll be in Raleigh to cover the Blue Devils in the state championship tournament on Friday and Saturday. I’m planning to have a couple of features in the paper between now and Friday, too. If I’m not able to make it for whatever reason, Justin Hill is providing backup for me. In fact, JH will be writing stories about the tourney, whether I make it or not to Raleigh. Hopefully, I’ll be there. Yes, I will be blogging updates every half-inning.
  • Obviously, with LCC doing so well, I won’t have All-Free Press baseball in the paper on Sunday. I plan to package both baseball and softball teams on June 8. Coaches, please get your nominations to me by fax at (252) 527-9407 or e-mail (preferred!) them to me at bhanks@freedomenc.com.

NJCAA D-2 World Series updates

Rain and extensive lightning in the area pushed last night’s games to today. (By the way, I’ve only been here twice, but this is the STORMIEST place I’ve ever been!)

On top of that, forecasters are calling for 50 to 60 percent chance of rain today in the greater Millington area.

Today’s sked and results:

Monroe (N.Y.) CC 10, Elgin (Ill.) 8 — Elgin elminated

Grand Rapids (Mich.) CC 1, Longview (Mo.) 0 — Longview eliminated

Monroe (N.Y.) 8, Grand Rapids (Mich.) 4 – Grand Rapids eliminated

Lenoir CC vs. LSU-Eunice, approximately 7:30 p.m. CDT