Oak Grove slams Lawrence Co.

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, March 17, 2004

OAK GROVE –The Oak Grove Warriors defeated the Lawrence CountyCougars 16-6 in high school baseball action Tuesday night at OakGrove. The Warriors scored 11 runs in the first 3 innings then,after Lawrence County battled back somewhat, ended the game with a5-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth.

Coach Harry Breland’s Warriors, the reigning state 5A champions,improved to 8-4 with the win. Lawrence County, under fourth-yearcoach Chris Clark, fell to 3-9.

Oak Grove banged out 13 hits in the game, with center-fielderGrant Hogue, second baseman Hayes Singleton and leftfielder KyleSellers collecting three each.

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Lawrence County took advantage of a hit batsman, two Oak Groveerrors and a Klein Harbour single to grab a 3-0 lead in the top ofthe first inning. It didn’t stand up for long.

In the bottom of the first, the Warriors took advantage ofCougar starter Marty Ballard’s control problems and scored fourtimes, for a 4-3 lead.

Freshman Joseph Evans relieved Ballard in the second inning, asOak Grove stretched its lead to 7-3. In the third, the Warriorsplated four runs, on four hits, to up the margin to 11-3.

The Cougars made a little noise in the top of the fifth.Freshman shortstop Trent Hartzog continued to be one of the team’smost productive hitters as he led off with a double. Harbourfollowed with a single, his third hit of the night. Casey Williamsthen laced an RBI double and scored one out later on a Luke Wattsgrounder.

The Cougars’ meager comeback went for naught as Oak Grove platedfive unearned runs in an ugly bottom of the sixth, ending the gamevia the 10-run rule.

After entering in a second-inning jam, Evans got knocked arounda bit by Oak Grove’s potent lineup but he still earned the respectof his coach.

“Joseph’s pitching line doesn’t show it,” Clark said, “but hegave an awfully good effort out there tonight. For a freshmanpitcher to want the ball against the 5A champions shows someguts.”

Kyle Lee pitched 4-plus innings to earn the win for Oak Grove.He allowed six runs on five hits and struck out three.

Lawrence County will return home to host Loyd Star on Friday.The varsity game starts at 7 p.m.