Hinton fans 16; BHS splits with Lawrence Co.

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2006

MONTICELLO — Lawrence County and Brookhaven concluded their3-game series Friday night in a battle of Division 6-4A teams, witha varsity doubleheader in Jimmy Davis Park. It was a splitdecision, as the Cougars got by the Panthers 9-4 in the opener. OleBrook bounced back in the nightcap, behind the precise pitching ofBrandt Hinton, to author a 4-2 win over Lawrence County.

Lawrence County and Brookhaven came into Friday night’stwinbill, as the No. 1 and 2-ranked teams respectively in theQuality Home Oxygen Southwest MS Prep Super Seven PreseasonBaseball Poll.

Lawrence County moved to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in Division 6-4A,while Brookhaven goes to 3-3 and 1-2. The Cougars shut out thePanthers 5-0 on Tuesday at Brookhaven’s Moyer Field.

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Lawrence Co. 9, Brookhaven 4

The Cougars (4-0, 2-0) used a 5-run first inning to take a leadthat they would never relinquish. Joseph Evans, Trent Hartzog,Jonathan Stephens, Mackenzie Woods and Marty Ballard scored forhead coach Cory Keyes.

The Panthers (2-2, 0-2) would respond in the top of the fourth.First baseman Garion Crockett launched a 2-run homer that wouldalso score shortstop Elliot Warren to cut the LCHS lead down to 3runs at 5-2.

Keyes’ ballclub would add 3 runs in the bottom of the fourth,and a single run in the fifth; extending their advantage to9-2.

The Crockett/Warren offensive would duplicate their fourthinning effort in the fifth, to close out the scoring for thenight.

Evans (2-0) authored the win for the Cougars. He went 7 innings,allowing 4 runs on 5 hits; walking 2 Panther batters and strikingout 12.

Josh Coone (1-1) suffered the loss for Ole Brook. He tossed 6innings, allowing 9 runs on 9 hits. He walked 5 and fanned 5 LCHSbatters.

Brookhaven 4, Lawrence Co. 2

Hinton, a 6-foot-3 senior right-hander, went the distance (7innings), allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits. He walked none andstruck out 13 Cougar batters.

“Brandt pitched a great game,” said Keyes. “He located hispitches well tonight.”

The Panthers (3-2, 1-2) took a 1-0 lead in their half of thethird. With 1 out, Zach Watson reached first on a LCHS error andlater moved to second on a wild pitch. After an Ole Brookstrikeout, Crockett was intentionally walked. Clean-up hitterPaxton King doubled to score Watson.

The Cougars (4-1, 2-1) tied the score at 1-all in the bottom ofthe inning. Evans singled to reach first and went to second on afielding error by the Panthers. Stephens’ groundout pushed Evans tothird. Evans would later score on a wild pitch by Hinton.

It was pitcher’s duel throughout the 7-inning affair. BothHinton and Cougar starter Trent Hartzog worked home plate to theiradvantage.

Ole Brook, coached by Randy Spring, would get more runs in thefifth and sixth innings.

In the fifth, Watson singled. Warren reached first on afielder’s choice. Crockett and King each singled to load the bases.Warren would later score on a passed ball. Coone’s single scoreCrockett and the Panthers held a 3-1 cushion.

In the sixth with 1 out, catcher Mitch Pappas singled. Pinchhitter Cody Ratcliff singled. With 2 outs, Warren walked to loadthe bases.

LCHS would bring Ballard to the mound in relief of Hartzog.Ballard walked Coone on 4 pitches to bring home Crockett.

The Cougars got a triple from second baseman Jake Russell in thebottom of the seventh. With 2 outs, Summers’ single scoredRussell.

“Give credit to Brookhaven, they did not give up tonight,” saidKeyes. “That’s a credit to their players and their coaches.”

Hartzog suffered the loss for the Cougars. He allowed 4 runs on7 hits; striking out 7 in 5 2/3 innings.