Lawrence Co. shows promise in jamboree

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, February 17, 2013

VICKSBURG – The Lawrence County Cougars took on Vicksburg and Clinton in a baseball preseason jamboree at Bazinsky Park. In what LCHS coach Cory Keyes deemed “a glorified practice,” the Cougars edged Vicksburg 9-6 and lost a 2-0 decision to Clinton in two 4-inning scrimmages. In junior varsity play, Lawrence County beat Vicksburg 3-1 in 3 innings.

“It was a good day for us,” said Keyes, in his ninth season as the Cougars’ head coach. “Practice was becoming a little stale, and our guys were ready to see someone else. We did some good things today, but we also spotted a lot of things that need more work before we tee it up next weekend.”

The Cougars banged out 10 hits in 4 innings against Vicksburg. Rusty Rowells, Jordan McCaffrey, Hunter Stephens, Matt Patterson, Kody Smith, Reid Graves, T-Tez Cole, Will Jackson, Pat Little, and Cade Turner each got 1. Catcher Turner’s 2-out, 2-run, third-inning double was probably Lawrence County’s biggest hit of the day. It triggered a 2-out, 5-run rally that provided the Cougars’ margin of victory.

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Hunter Stephens, Matt Patterson, and Will Jackson pieced together the 4-inning game. They struck out 4 and scattered 10 hits.

Against Clinton, LCHS pitchers Jordan McCaffrey and John Hedgepeth held the Arrows in check, but the Cougars managed just 1 hit off two Clinton hurlers. Matt Patterson had the only Lawrence County hit.

A very cold Saturday morning got started with a junior varsity game between the Cougars and host Gators. Booming first-inning RBI doubles by T-Tez Cole and Noah McLaurin staked the Cougars to a 3-0 lead, and pitchers Kody Smith and Brennan Lang made it stand up. Eddie Jake Smith also had a hit for Lawrence County.

“It was pretty cold and miserable early this morning,” said long-time LCHS assistant Craig Davis, “and I thought our jayvee guys gave us a great effort and got us going. To only walk one guy in conditions like that is a credit to Coach (Josh) Garrett and those guys.

“I think we showed today that we’re good enough to compete with most people, and I think we showed that we aren’t loaded enough to overpower anyone. We’ve got to scratch and claw for every run, and for every inning defensively. We’ve got to do things right if we’re to have much success.”