Lawrence County Cougars punish Ole Brook Panthers

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, March 2, 2005

MONTICELLO — The Brookhaven Panthers and Lawrence CountyCougars battled in the Division 6-4A baseball opener for bothschools Tuesday night at Jimmy Davis Park. The Cougars dialed longdistance 3 times, coming from behind to author an 11-1 win over thedefending Class 4A state champion Panthers in 5 innings.

Lawrence County improves to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the division.Brookhaven dropped to 2-4 and 0-1.

Brookhaven continues division play Friday, hosting Terry atMoyer Field. Lawrence County travels to Natchez. Both teams willplay a JV/Varsity doubleheader, beginning at 5 p.m.

Lawrence County 11, Brookhaven 1

LCHS sophomore pitcher Joseph Evans (2-0) garnered the win onthe mound. He tossed 5 innings, allowing one unearned run on 3hits. He issued 2 walks and fanned 7 Ole Brook batters. Evans aidedhis cause at the plate with a single, a double, a homer, 3 runsscored and 3 RBIs.

“Joseph started slow and finished strong,” said first-yearCougar head coach Cory Keyes. “Our kids battled hard tonight.”

Ole Brook, coached by Randy Spring, opened the scoring in thetop of the first. First baseman Darius Perkins reached on an error,stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Zach Watson.Two batters later, designated hitter Garion Crockett singled toscore Perkins for a 1-0 Panther lead.

Evans would answer the call in the third. Third baseman McKenzieWoods singled. On a 2-2 pitch, Evans sent a 2-run blast over theleft field fence for a 2-1 advantage. LCHS never looked back, asconsecutive solo homers from Taebyus Smith and Michael Thompsonhelped give the Cougar a 5-1 lead. Trent Hartzog doubled and scoredon a ground out by Jonathan Stephens.

“We hit the ball well tonight,” added Keyes. “We were downearly, but we did not give up.”

Keyes’ ballclub plated 3 runs in the fourth. Evans singled.Second baseman Jeremy Williams doubled. Hartzog doubled to scoreboth runners. Smith doubled to score Williams for an 8-1 lead.

LCHS would evoke the 10-run rule in the bottom of the fifth.With 1 out, catcher Jake Russell singled. Pinch hitter MartyBallard reach first, as a pitch hit him.

Evans doubled to score Russell. Ballard would score on balk. TheCougars scored the winning run, when Williams’ sacrifice fly tocenterfield brought Evans home from third.

“Give Lawrence County credit, they made the plays when theyneeded too,” said Spring.

The Panthers got singles from Crockett, Josh Coone and Perkins.Freshman pitcher Paxton King suffered the loss for Ole Brook,allowing 8 earned runs on 9 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts.Perkins threw 2/3 of an innings, allowing 3 earned runs on 2 hitswith a strikeout.

The Cougars got support from Hartzog with 2 doubles and 2 runsscored. Smith and Thompson each singled and homered.

“Brookhaven is the 2-time defending district champion anddefending state champion,” added Keyes. “They are as such, untilthey are beaten.”