Wesson Cobras hold off Lawrence County

Published 6:00 am Monday, March 24, 2003

WESSON – The Wesson Cobras defeated the Lawrence County Cougars5-4 in a dandy high school baseball game Saturday night. The Cobrasplated what turned out to be the decisive run on a Kyle Smithsacrifice fly in the fifth inning, then made necessary defensiveplays to thwart Lawrence County’s attempt to rally in theseventh.

With the win, Phillip Knight’s Wesson team improved to 10-5overall. The Cobras currently stand at 3-1 in 2A division play.Lawrence County, coached by Chris Clark, fell to 8-8 overall. TheCougars are currently 6-2 in Division 6-4A.

“It was a win,” said Knight. “It makes you feel pretty good.Lawrence County has a good organization.”

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The Wesson win avenged an 11-1 loss to Lawrence County back inFebruary, in what was the first game of the season for bothteams.

Saturday night, the Cobras took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of thefirst when second baseman Peyton Warren doubled home Nick Gunterand Chris Peets, who had reached on a walk and hit batsman.

Cougar pitcher Casey Williams got one of those runs back in thesecond with a long solo homer, his second of the year. LCHSattempted to tie the game on a Luke Watts single, but Wessonleftfielder Tom Burgess threw Lawrence County’s Marlon Stanfieldout at the plate to end the inning.

It was still 2-1 in the bottom of the third when, with one out,Cougar third baseman Luke Watts came to the mound in relief ofWilliams. Watts was greeted by an RBI double to right by Cobrashortstop Joseph Langham. That made it 3-1.

Wesson first baseman Justin Smith led off the bottom of thefirst with a triple to right. Watts almost worked himself out ofthe jam, but Burgess, whose big throw had helped preserve a Cobralead early in the game, this time extended the Cobra lead with atwo-out, RBI single. Wesson led it 4-1 after four.

Lawrence County rallied in the top of the fifth. After Wattsreached on an error, freshman designated hitter Jonathan Stephens,making his first varsity start, boomed a double to right-centerthat cut the lead to 4-2. Two outs later, Stephens scored onMichael Thompson’s bloop double down the left-field line. TheCougars’ Klein Harbour then extended the rally and tied the gamewith a single to right that plated Thompson.

At that point,Wesson starting pitcher Kyle Smith was relieved byshortstop Joseph Langham, who pitched out of the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth, it was Smith’s bat that proved thedifference in the game. After Langham and Peets opened the inningwith singles, it was Smith’s sacrifice fly to right that put Wessonin the lead again, at 5-4.

Langham struck out the side in the Lawrence County half of thesixth inning, but the Cougars attempted to mount a rally in theseventh. After the first batter reached on an error, he was pickedoff on an attempted sacrifice bunt, by Wesson catcher RyanWilliams. The next Cougar hitter reached on a base on balls, butthe game ended on a 5-4-3 double play turned by Cobra third basemanRussell Robinson and second baseman Peyton Warren.

In the JV game, Lawrence County defeated Wesson11-6. Jonathan Stephens was the winning pitcher and Cougar centerfielder Taebyus Smith smashed a homerun. The losing pitcher wasCorey Puckett (2-1).