Lawrence County knocks off McComb

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2005

MONTICELLO-The Lawrence County High Cougars defeated the McCombTigers 7-2 in Division 6-4A high school baseball action Tuesdaynight at Jimmie Davis Park. LCHS rode the 4-hit, complete-gamepitching of junior Jake Russell to its eight straight divisionwin.

With the victory, Lawrence County, coached by Cory Keyes,improved to 18-3 on the season. The Cougars are 8-0 in Division6-4A play. McComb, coached by Jerry Brewer, fell to 8-13 on theyear.

“It was a good win,” Keyes said. “We didn’t play our best gametonight, but Jake threw well, and the hits we did get came inbunches.”

The Lawrence County win gives the Cougars a chance to clinch thedivision championship this Friday night at Terry. Lawrence Countycurrently has a 2-game lead over Terry. The Cougars defeated theBulldogs in a 15-inning epic 3 weeks ago.

“Beating McComb gives us a chance to close it out this week,”Keyes said, “but I’m sure Terry isn’t planning on that happening.We can’t worry about division races and all of that. We’ve just gotto go out and do the very best we can every night.”

The win over McComb didn’t come easily. The visiting Tigersscored 2 in the top of the first. An error, a base on balls, andsingles by Justin Hay and Dylan Boyd added up to a 2-0 McComblead.

Lawrence County cut the Tiger lead to 2-1 in the bottom of theinning, as Joseph Evans singled, and scored on a Johnathan Stephensgroundout. The Cougars scored 3 in the second to grab a 4-2 lead.Evans, Michael Thompson, Marty Ballard, and Nick Jackson each hadsingles off McComb starter Hay.

It was still 4-2 in the top of the fifth, when McComb puttogether a major threat. Two errors, a walk, and a Laney Sullivansingle resulted in the Tigers having the bases loaded with just oneout. Russell pitched out of the jam, however, and the Cougars’Michael Thompson put the game away with a 3-run homer in the bottomof the inning. That followed singles by Johnathan Stephens andTrent Hartzog.

Aside from their 2-run first inning, and their fifth-inningthreat, McComb had only 1 other base runner in the game. He wasthrown out attempting to steal, in the fourth, by Cougar catcherZachary Summers. In one stretch, Russell retired 11 of 12 McCombbatters. He struck out 8 in the game, while walking just 2.

Hay was fairly effective for McComb. He limited the Cougars to 8hits while striking out 5.

McComb defeated Lawrence County 8-7 in junior varsity action,scoring 7 unearned runs in the fifth and final inning.