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Lawrence Co. starts fast, holds off Lawrence Co.

BUDE — The Lawrence County Cougars defeated the Franklin CountyBulldogs 10-7 in high school baseball action Saturday afternoon.The Cougars scored in each of their first 5 at-bats to run up a10-4 lead, then held off an attempted Bulldog comeback.

With the win, Coach Cory Keyes’ Cougars improved to 14-5overall. Jeremy Loy’s Franklin County team fell to 13-3, losing forthe second time to the Cougars. Both teams are very much in thethick of their respective division and playoff races.

“It was a good win,” Keyes said. “Both teams kicked it aroundsome in the first two innings, but our guys did a good job ofadding runs throughout the day, and we needed them. We have a hardtime getting Franklin County out.”

Lawrence County scored 2 in the top of the first on a 2-out,2-run double by pitcher Conner Oakes. Blaine Abernathy doubled andscored an unearned run in the bottom of the inning.

LCHS added 2 more in the second, but Franklin County counteredthat with Matt Lofton’s 2-run homer in the bottom half. LawrenceCounty led 4-3.

Lawrence County added another run in the third, then broke thegame open in the fourth. The first of Willie Buckley’s 3 singlesstarted a 4-run uprising. Scott Votaw and Oakes both had triples inthe inning, and Nathan Case blasted a solo home run. Buckley’s RBIsingle in the fifth gave LCHS a seemingly comfortable 10-4lead.

Franklin County battled back in the bottom of the fifth. ColtonLaird had a double. Preston Shelton and Hunter Hatcher had singlesas the Bulldogs cut the Cougar lead to 10-7. Franklin County leftrunners on second and third, and that proved to be the Bulldogs’last shot, as Case retired them in order in the sixth and seventh,to earn a much-deserved save.

“We’ve had three quality non-division wins in eight days,” Keyessaid. “We had been giving it a good fight inside the division, butnot playing very well in non-division. Getting two wins against anexcellent Franklin County team is a good accomplishment.”

LCHS defeated Franklin County 6-5 last Saturday, then beatClinton 5-2 on Monday night.

Oakes worked 3 innings to get the win. He walked 1, struck out1, and gave up 7 hits. In 4 innings of relief, Case allowed 3 hitsand struck out 3.

Dehendret Collins started and went 2 innings for FranklinCounty. Colton Laird relieved him in the third, and worked thefinal 5 innings.

Oakes and Buckley each had 3 hits for Lawrence County. CatcherDillon Lee had 2. Hunter Hatcher and Ben McDowell each had 2 hitsfor Franklin County.