• 68°

Lawrence Co. Cougars blast Jim Hill 21-2

MONTICELLO — The Lawrence County Cougars hammered the Jim HillTigers 21-2 in Division 6-4A high school baseball action Tuesdaynight at Jimmie Davis Park. Lawrence County led 3-0 after 2innings, then exploded for 12 runs in the third as the Cougars kepttheir sights on a possible division championship.

With the win, Coach Cory Keyes’ Cougars improved to 19-5overall, and 9-1 in Division 6-4A play. Lawrence County can clinchits first division championship since 1997 by beating South Piketwice on Friday night.

“That’s a pretty tall order,” Keyes said. “South Pike is playingvery well right now, and they can throw two very good pitchers atyou. But we’re happy to have the opportunity. It should be anexciting night, and it’s great to be playing at our place.”

Terry entered Tuesday’s division play still within strikingrange of the Cougars, at 8-2. The division champion gets to host a4-team, double-elimination regional tournament that serves as theopening round of the state playoffs.

“Obviously, we’d love to play (regional) at home,” Keyes said.”Everybody would prefer to play at home. But we’ve still got a lotof work to do, to accomplish that. We’ll just throw our best effortinto Friday night, and worry about the playoffs later.”

The Cougars did what they had to do on Tuesday. After ascoreless first inning, Lawrence County put 3 on the board in thebottom of the second, as Marty Ballard had an RBI single.

The floodgates opened in the bottom of the third, as JohnathanStephens, Taebyus Smith, and Joseph Evans all hammered home runs ina 12-run outburst. Lawrence County substituted in every lineup spotin the fourth, but the Cougar reserves banged out 6 runs on 7hits.

Meanwhile, LCHS starter Trent Hartzog was having a pretty easytime of it with Jim Hill. Hartzog threw a 5-inning no-hitteragainst the Tigers back on March 18th. On Tuesday, he allowed anunearned run on 3 hits, while striking out 3.

Mackenzie Woods pitched the fifth inning. He struck out 3, butdid allow a solo homer to Tiger shortstop Rafael Jackson.

Smith and Marty Ballard each had 2 hits for Lawrence County.Evans, Hartzog, Stephens, Woods, Dominique West, Zachary Summers,Jake Russell, Ricardo Barnes, Dusty Roberts, J.P. Lewis and CoreyJones also had hits.

Jackson, Brian Jones, Justin Haywood and Jason Fall had hits forJim Hill.