FORT OGLETHORPE - Mother Nature wasn't the only one raining down on Huston Black Field on Thursday night.
Gordon Lee senior first baseman Bryce Bailey swatted a home run and a double and drove in three runs as the Trojans opened the 2013 baseball season with a rain-shortened 7-1 road win over Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe.
With Class A's baseball state tournament field being set by the power ranking system this spring, the win, and every win this season, will be of utmost importance to the Navy-and-White.
"We just have to be ready and prepared because every game on our schedule counts," said Gordon Lee head coach Mike Dunfee. "Other teams (in other classification) have a few games to work out the kinks, but we don't have that luxury. Tonight was a good win because LFO had a good team last year, their coaches do a great job, and I'm sure this year will be the same."
Gordon Lee (1-0) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning as Bay Wright doubled to lead things off before trotting home on Bailey's blast.
LFO (0-1) got a run back in the bottom of the third as Sam Eaves doubled off Gordon Lee starter Conard Broome before scoring on a Dusty Melford RBI-single, but it would be the only run of the night for the Warriors.
The Trojans blew the game wide open in the top of the fourth as Gordon Lee scored five times in the inning on two hits and three LFO errors. Bailey knocked in Wright with a double, and a pair of runs came home on a throwing error two batters later. Connor Coakley picked up an RBI on a fielder's choice, and Tanner Sexton sacrifice fly to center plated Tucker Bradley with the Trojans' final run of the night.
Playing in a steady rain for most of the night, the game was finally called after Gordon Lee had loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the sixth.
The Trojans collected eight hits and played errorless ball while Broome and Branton Phillips combined to strike out 10 hitters in five innings. Broome picked up his first win of the season, fanning eight and walking four while allowing three hits in three innings. Phillips worked the final two innings, giving up no hits and three walks with a pair of strikeouts.
"I'm pleased with the pitching and defense tonight," Dunfee added. "Early on, I think some nerves got to us with our sticks. We were out in front of some pitches, but we had a lot better at-bats once the game went along, and that's what you want to see."
Cole Ellis took the loss for the Warriors, being pulled before recording a single out in the fourth. He struck out four batters, gave up six hits, and walked two, but was hurt by four errors behind him in the field. Melford worked the fourth inning in relief, while Daniel Parrish finished the night on the hill.
Gordon Lee is slated to host county rival LaFayette at 12 noon on Saturday before LFO pays a visit to Chickamauga on Monday for their next game. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.