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Lawrence Co. bags wins over Wesson, Franklin Co.

The Lawrence County Cougars earned hard-fought wins over Wessonand Franklin County in Saturday afternoon action in the SouthwestMississippi Baseball Classic at Brookhaven’s Moyer Field. TheCougars trailed for the better part of both games, but rallied tobeat Wesson by a 7-5 score. In the next game, LCHS scored six runsin its final three at-bats to earn a 6-2 win over FranklinCounty.

“We didn’t play clean baseball today,” said sixth-year LCHS coachCory Keyes, “and we could have easily lost both ballgames. But ourguys kept battling and found a way to get it done. They deservesome credit for that.

“We’ve got to clean it up, though, if we want to win many more. Wewere more fortunate, than deserving today.”

In the LCHS/Wesson game, much of the action came in the secondinning. In the top of the frame, Lawrence County roughed up Cobrastarter Gib Britt for 3 runs on 4 hits, the biggest blows beingdoubles by Dylan Lea and Jamie McCardle. In the bottom of theinning, however, Wesson scored 5 runs on 4 hits againsthard-throwing Lawrence County ace Scott Votaw. Matt Smith, HunterHood, and Pat Boone all had doubles.

It remained 5-3 until the top of the fourth, when Lawrence Countyscored 3 runs without the benefit of a base hit. Two errors and abase on balls played big roles in the inning. LCHS tacked onanother run without getting a hit in the top of the fifth. Thetime-limited game lasted just 6 innings.

After the rough second inning, Votaw shut Wesson out over the final4 frames. He gave up 9 hits, walked 1, and struck out 8. Britt,Brandon Allen, and Zach Davis together allowed 5 hits and struckout 2.

Boone and Britt led Coach Hugh Knight’s Cobras with 2 hits each.Hood, Allen, Smith, Gage Wilson, and Caleb Broome each got 1.McCardle, Lea, Adam Watson, Lane Stephens, and Keith Martin eachhad hits for Lawrence County.

Lawrence 6, Franklin 2

In the Franklin County game, Cougar submariner Ethan Foster wentthe full seven innings, scattering 11 hits and pitching out oftrouble time and time again, to earn his second win of the season.Foster also had one of the game’s key hits, a seventh-inning singlethat broke a 2-2 knot and triggered a 4-run Lawrence Countyeruption.

While Foster was hurt by some shaky defense behind him, he alsobenefited from two inning-ending throw-outs at the plate by centerfielder Adam Watson and right fielder Tucker Smith to catcher KeithMartin. Foster was also able to escape a bases-loaded, 1-out jam,by turning a 1-2-3 double play.

“We played an awful game defensively,” said long-time LCHSassistant Craig Davis, “but we did make those three huge plays. Forus to only give up two runs on 11 hits and all those bobbles was anabsolute miracle, but we’ll proudly take it.”

Franklin County took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second onHunter Hatcher’s RBI single. Justin D’Avy scored on the hit, theBulldogs’ fourth of the inning, but Watson threw out CalvinRobinson to end the inning.

The Bulldogs upped their lead to 2-0 in the fourth, on 3 more hits.After Lawrence County knotted the game at 2-2 in the top of thefifth, the Bulldogs were poised to take the lead again, only to hitinto the big double play. In the bottom of the sixth, yet anotherFranklin County rally was foiled when right fielder Smith threw outHatcher at the plate, on Preston Shelton’s single.

Lawrence County, which improved to 5-0, took advantage of all thatgood fortune in the top of the seventh. Smith doubled to lead offthe inning, triggering a 4-run rally that was capped by Dylan Lea’ssacrifice fly.

Watson and Martin had 2 hits each for Lawrence County. Foster,Smith, Votaw, Lane Stephens, and Willie Buckley each had 1. Hatcherwent 4-for-4 to lead Franklin County. D’Avy and Smallwood had 2hits each. Shelton, Robinson, and Wes Jones each had 1 hit.

Colton Laird worked a strong 7 innings for Franklin County. Heallowed 9 hits, struck out 4, and did not walk a batter.