On a cold night at Cleveland High School, the Rams Varsity baseball team won its home opener against the Harnett Central Trojans by a score of 8-3.
After a slow start, the Rams capitalized on the Trojans’ relief pitching, overcoming a 3-2 deficit in the fourth inning. Trojans pitcher Jackson Jones relieved starter Matthew Bailey after Bailey gave up a single and a walk. Jones lasted two batters before he was pulled in favor of Lincoln Ihler. By that point, the Rams had used the walks and some Trojan errors to take a lead they would never give up. The Rams scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth, getting four of those runs on bases-loaded walks, wild pitches and stolen bases.
Rams starting pitcher Dawson Smith (1-0) settled in after three innings in which he allowed 3 runs on 2 hits, walking 3 batters and striking out three. Colby Davis dazzled in relief, going three innings where he recorded 4 strikeouts while only allowing 1 hit.
Offensively, first baseman Hogan Keeping led the Rams, going 2-4, including an RBI single in the sixth inning. Cam Verrier, Brian Harper, Garrett Langdon and Dawson Smith added runs for the Rams.
The Rams (1-0) next face the South Garner Titans (1-0) in a non-conference game on Friday.
The JV Rams defeated the JV Trojans 9-1 at Cleveland on Thursday. Dylan Johnson earned the win for the Rams. The JV Rams (1-0) next face Southern Nash on Wednesday, March 6.