Tarboro’s River Bandits split a pair of doubleheaders with defending Carolina Virginia Collegiate League champions Fuquay-Varina Twins over the weekend, winning 3-2 and 6-3 on Saturday before falling 5-1 and 7-4 on Sunday.
On Sunday, the games were moved to a 2 p.m. start in a successful effort to dodge forecasted rains.
The Twins jumped out to a lead and were never challenged in game one.
In game two, Fuquay-Varina took a 1-0 led in the top of the first, but the Bandits came back.
After a leadoff double, the Bandits got back-to-back singles — the second of the infield variety, before Matthew Mangum (Glenville State) lofted a sacrifice fly to left to plate the first run.
Then, Brantley Cutler (Maryland-Eastern Shore) drove in two runs to make it 3-1 after the first inning.
Fuquay-Varina then started its comeback, taking the lead and closing out the game.
On Saturday, Tarboro got strong, all-around efforts — in the field, on the mound, and at the plate.
“We had a couple of really good ball clubs battling out there today,” Matthews said. “I was really pleased with (pitcher) Cole (Bates) in the first game. He went longer than we anticipated. We wanted him to get four (innings) and he got five strong innings.”
Bates (Delaware State) gave up one unearned run on four hits. He struck out seven while not walking a batter and hitting one.
F-V got a run in the top of the second when the leadoff batter was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored on a throwing error by second baseman Thomas Fox (Paul Camp).
Tarboro came back in the third to get three runs when Jerod Bingaman (Messiah) reached on a single to right, Fox walked and Phillip Boykin (Louisburg) hit a three-run blast to the left of the scoreboard to clear the bases.
F-V put another run on the board in the sixth before Jake Wolf (UNC-Greensboro) gave up a walk and forced three fly outs to end the game.
In the second game, F-V got a run in the second before Tarboro took the lead for good in the bottom half of the inning.
After the weekend series, Tarboro had a 6-2 record while Fuquay-Varina stood at 5-5.
Tarboro had a single, nine-inning game scheduled Monday against the Catawba Valley All-Stars, to be followed Wednesday with a home doubleheader at 5 against Wake Forest and a single road game Friday as the Edenton Steamers open their home season.