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Topsail baseball on a 4-game slide


Topsail's Danny Wilson (left) tags out Stanley's Jordan Starnes during the West Brunswick Baseball tournament on Monday, April 1, 2013. (Photo by Laura Greene)


SHALLOTTE | For the third consecutive game, the Topsail Pirates let a lead slip away in the late innings as the South Stanly Rebel Bulls scored two runs in the top of the seventh to beat the Pirates 4-3 on Monday in the third game of the Beach Diamond Invitational at West Brunswick High School.

The loss drops the Pirates’ record to 3-7. They have now lost four games in a row after a strong start to the year.

“It’s just the way it’s going for us right now,” Pirates coach Granville Gehris said. “It’s not for a lack of effort. We’re probably just pressing too much. We just have to relax.”

South Stanly started the scoring in the first, getting two runs across to take the early lead. Pirates’ pitcher Addison Futrell settled down after that, throwing the next four innings scoreless while giving up just one hit.

“That’s what he gives us,” Gehris said. “He battles, he gives us a chance, and he’s a grinder. He just keeps working out there. He didn’t have his good stuff today, but he kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win. That’s what you ask out of your starter.”

The Pirates took the lead in the third inning, putting three runs across to go ahead 3-2. Futrell helped his own cause with a two run double to tie the game, then Clark Cota singled one batter later to bring home Futrell and give Topsail the lead.

Cota came on to pitch in relief of Futrell in the sixth, and pitched a scoreless inning before giving up two in the seventh. After a single and a walk off Cota, Chase Poplin singled to drive in the tying run. One batter later, a wild pitch by Cota drove in the winning run.

The Pirates had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with two outs. However, Trent Hansley fouled out to catcher Trey Mabry on the first pitch.

“We had our guy who has been pitching the best for us in at the end, and it just didn’t work out for us,” Gehris said. “We’ll just have to scrap us and get ready to go tomorrow.”