The Mecklenburg All-Stars fought to the end but dropped a pair of games over the weekend in the 2020 Dixie Majors Baseball World Series in Ozark, Alabama.
The Virginia state champions dropped a 9-8 heartbreaker to Brooksville, Florida in its series opener on Saturday morning and then fell 10-3 to Texarkana, Arkansas in an elimination game on Sunday morning.
Mecklenburg fell behind early on Sunday as Arkansas went to work in the bottom of the first taking advantage of a double, a walk, and a 3-run homer to open up an early lead.
The local team threated in the second when Brandon Rolfe singled and Wade Jenkins walked but a mistake on the base paths proved costly allowing Arkansas to get out of the jam.
Mecklenburg got its offense going in the top of the third when Hunter Sykes led off with a double and Michael Thomas Holtzman reached on an error. Sykes scored on a balk to get the local team on the scoreboard and Cameron Sheets followed with a RBI double. A RBI single by Jarrett Hamby knotted the score at three.
Arkansas retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth by scoring two runs off of Mecklenburg starter Justyn Hudson on a hit batsman, a double and a 2-RBI single for a 5-3 lead.
Arkansas added three more runs in the bottom of the fifth on a walk, a RBI single, a double and a 2-RBI single and added two insurance runs in the sixth for the final margin.
Rolfe led Mecklenburg with two hits in the game while Sykes, Sheets and Hamby added one apiece.
Mecklenburg lost a 9-8 heartbreaker to Brooksville, Florida in the opener after the Sunshine State champions rallied from an 8-2 deficit in the sixth inning to pick up the win.
Florida jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on two walks, a hit batsman and an error.
Mecklenburg answered back, scoring one run in the third inning when Sheets walked and scored on a wild pitch.
The local team took its first lead of the game in the fourth inning when Sykes walked, Austin Hall singled, Rolfe singled and Holtzman singled to drive in two runs for a 4-2 lead.
The Mecklenburg guys scored three more runs in the fifth inning when Stephen Dunlow walked, Sykes was hit by a pitch, Christian Bartholomew walked and Rolfe doubled to clear the bases for a 7-2 lead.
A solo homer by Cameron Sheets in the top of the sixth extended the Mecklenburg lead to 8-2.
The wheels begin to come off in the bottom of the sixth when Florida scored seven runs on three critical errors, three walks and a hit batsman.
Austin Hall drew a one-out walk to put the tying run aboard in the top of the seventh for Mecklenburg but Florida got two flyouts to get out of the jam and claim the 9-8 win.
Rolfe had two hits and 3 RBI to lead Mecklenburg while Holtzman had one hit and a RBI, Sheets had a homer and scored two runs, Sykes had a hit and scored two runs, Hall had a hit and scored a run and Dunlow and Bartholomew scored a run.
Holtzman pitched five strong innings in a no-decision for Mecklenburg, striking out nine while allowing no hits and scattering five walks.