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Lawrence Co. wallops Wesson

MONTICELLO — The Lawrence County Cougars defeated the WessonCobras 13-3 in season-opening high school baseball action Fridaynight at Jimmie Davis Park. Marty Ballard’s 3-run homer broke opena 2-2 tie, highlighting Lawrence County’s 11-hit attack, and JakeRussell threw 5 strong innings.

With the win, Coach Cory Keyes’ Cougars begin the season at 1-0,while Wesson, under coach Hugh Knight, is 0-1.

Wesson defeated Lawrence County in both meetings between the twoschools last season. Both teams return most of their key playersthis year. Several Cobra players also play for the Wessonbasketball team, and just joined the baseball team earlier in theweek.

After Russell pitched out of a jam in the top of the first,Lawrence County’s Joseph Evans singled and scored on a JohnathanStephens double, giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead.

Wesson took advantage of some uncharacteristic Russell wildnessto take the lead in the top of the second. Three walks set up CoreyPuckett’s 2-out, 2-run single, giving the Cobras a 2-1 lead.

Singles by Mackenzie Woods and Nick Jackson tallied a tying runfor the Cougars in the bottom of the second, then Ballard broke thegame open with his 3-run blast in the bottom of the third.

Lawrence County added 2 more runs in the fourth, 4 in the fifth,and ended the game, via the 10-run rule, with 2 more in the sixth.Wesson’s third run came on a fifth-inning solo homer by centerfielder Daniel Watson.

“We had a pretty good night,” said Keyes, in his second year atLawrence County. “Our pitching and defense were decent, and 3 or 4guys carried us at the plate.

“A win over Wesson is a quality win,” Keyes said. “They’ve got afine team, and they’ve had their way with us the last couple ofyears.”

Mackenzie Woods and Joseph Evans each had 3 hits for LawrenceCounty. Ballard and Stephens each had 2. Daniel Watson and CoreyPuckett each had 2 hits to lead Wesson.

In 5 innings of mound work, Lawrence County senior Jake Russellallowed 5 hits and struck out 8. He walked 4, 3 of them coming inthe second inning. Senior lefty Marty Ballard pitched the sixth,striking out all 3 Wesson batters he faced.

In 4-plus innings, Puckett allowed 9 runs (6 earned) on 10 hits.He was relieved by Cobra first baseman Jonathan Grace in the fifthinning.

Lawrence County won a 5-inning junior varsity game by a score of5-2, with sophomore Christopher Smith working 5 strong innings.