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Forbes strikes out 14 Lawrence Co. batters

   MONTICELLO – Junior standout Edward “Ti’Quan” Forbes threw a complete-game, 4-hitter and struck out 14, as the Columbia Wildcats defeated the Lawrence County Cougars 5-3  Friday night at Jimmie Davis Park. 

     With the win, Columbia improved to 16-3 overall, and 7-1 in Region 7-4A play.  Lawrence County fell to 8-10 overall, and 2-6 in the region.

       With one week of region play left, Coach Greg Owen’s Wildcats are very much in contention for the region championship.  LCHS, meanwhile, has been eliminated from playoff contention.

     “I thought our guys gave it a tremendous fight,” said Cougar coach Cory Keyes.  “We didn’t play a great game. We struck out too much and we made some defensive miscues that hurt us but our effort and intensity couldn’t have been any greater.  I’m proud of that.”

     Columbia scored 2 unearned runs in the top of the first, with a dropped fly ball being the biggest reason.  After Lawrence County scratched out an unearned run of its own in the bottom of the second, Columbia got 2 more in the third, as shortstop Hakeem Forbes doubled and scored.  The Wildcats led 4-1.

     The Cougars cut their deficit to 4-3 with unearned runs in both the third and fourth innings.  That’s as close as Lawrence County would get.  Columbia added an insurance run in the fifth. Tamaz Conerly singled, stole second and third, and scored on C.J. Newsome’s infield single.

      Forbes, who is already committed to Ole Miss as an infielder, had an outstanding night on the mound.  Forbes gave up just 4 singles and did not walk a single LCHS batter, while racking up his huge strikeout total.  Forbes finished out the game by retiring the final 8 Lawrence County batters, 5 of them via the strikeout. 

     Cougar senior pitcher Jordan McCaffrey gave it great battle, also throwing a complete game.  He allowed 8 hits, walked 4, and struck out 2.

     “I thought Jordan competed really well,” said long-time LCHS assistant Craig Davis.  “If we had played it a little cleaner, our three runs might have won the game.  That’s an incredibly difficult lineup to pitch to, and Jordan did so pretty successfully.”

     Matt Patterson had 2 hits for Lawrence County.  Kewaun May and Hunter Stephens also had hits.  Hakeem Forbes and Newsome each had 2 hits for the Wildcats.

     Lawrence County won in junior varsity action, 1-0, as Brennan Lang, Hayden Davis, and Joshua Stephens combined on a 5-inning 1-hitter.  Davis, Noah McLaurin, and Blake Williams had hits for the Cougar jayvees.