Ole Brook victorious in opener

Published 2:10 am Sunday, March 2, 2014

MONTICELLO – The Ole Brook Panthers were the big winners in a full day of high school baseball action Saturday at Lawrence County High School’s Jimmie Davis Park. Randy Spring’s team got 2014 off to a 2-0 start. First, Brookhaven handled Wesson 7-4. In the final game of the evening, the Panthers rallied in the seventh inning for a 5-4 win over the host Cougars. In the first game of the day, North Pike beat Wesson 6-3

The Brookhaven-Lawrence County tilt was the game of the day. The old rivals were deadlocked at 3-3 through five innings. LCHS grabbed a 4-3 lead on a balk in the bottom of the sixth, but Ole Brook scored 2 in the top of the seventh, and senior left-hander Reed Jones made those runs stand up in the bottom of the seventh.

“It certainly wasn’t one of the all-time Brookhaven-Lawrence County games,” Spring said, “but I thought both teams competed awfully hard. I know Reed competed well for us, and I thought Will (Jackson) gave it a great fight for them. We’re proud of the win, proud to leave here 2-0.”

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Jones went the full seven innings to earn his first win of the season, scattering seven hits and striking out eight. Jones got stronger as the game went along. He allowed only one run-on the sixth-inning balk-over the last four innings.

Will Jackson matched Jones pitch-for-pitch. He also surrendered seven hits and struck out six. Defensive miscues cost Jackson and the Cougars dearly.

“We’ve really dropped it on the ground for two straight nights,” said Keyes, whose Cougars edged West Marion 7-5 in Friday’s season-opener. “We got away with last night, and we didn’t get away with it tonight. These players are giving us tremendous effort, but we’ve obviously got to catch the ball better if we’re to win many games.”

Jones also had a good night at the plate. He drove in the Panthers’ first run with a third-inning single, and his leadoff single triggered Brookhaven’s seventh-inning rally. It was a Brett Spring single that drove home the winning run. Center fielder Nick Kesler also had two hits for the Panthers. T-Tez Cole, Kody Smith and Kewaun May each had two hits for Lawrence County.

In the Panthers’ win over Wesson, Spring had two more hits. Scotty Bateman whacked a two-run homer, and pitched a strong game to earn the win. Ole Brook led 7-0 through six innings.

Mack Smith pitched a strong game for Wesson. The Cobras trailed just 2-0 through five innings, but a five-run Brookhaven rally put the game away in the bottom of the sixth. Smith also had a double as a part of Wesson’s 4-run seventh.

In the first game of the day, Brantley Hughes got three hits and pitched three strong innings for North Pike in the Jaguars’ win over Wesson. Levi Wisehart got credit for the win in relief.

Preston Adams worked four good innings for Seth Lofton’s Cobras. He got a no-decision. Tyler McLeod, Austin Crow, Mack Smith, and Conner Lowery each had two hits for Wesson.