Lovelady Lions came up short 4-3 against Joaquin in a best-of-three series opener in the regional quarterfinals Friday afternoon at Jasper.
After Joaquin took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, the Lions pushed across a run in the bottom half after Alex McKnight drew a one-out walk and courtesy runner Jay Robinson came around to score.
The Rams went up 3-1 in the third, but the Lions tied it up in the fifth with a two-out rally. Jacob Jeffus reached on an error, Mason Lowery singled and Hunter Murray was intentionally walked to load the bases. An error allowed Jeffus and Lowery to score, making it 3-3.
After Joaquin scored the go-ahead run in the sixth, the Lions had a tying run at third with no outs in the bottom of the sixth but were unable to push it across.
Jeffus led off of the seventh with a double, but was caught stealing third on a passed ball. The Lions still were hopeful after back-to-back singles by Murray and Lee Holsey, but a flyout ended the threat.
Murray went the distance on the mound for the Lions.