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Cougars’ rally skins West Lincoln

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Lawrence County's Kody Smith (18) earns the win against West Lincoln Friday afternoon.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Lawrence County’s Kody Smith (18) earns the win against West Lincoln Friday afternoon.

BOGUE CHITTO – Lawrence County scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to edge West Lincoln 5-4 in high school baseball action Friday afternoon at Bogue Chitto. Lawrence County’s Kody Smith delivered a game-ending single, finishing off a dandy duel with West Lincoln’s Brady Wilson.

Wilson whacked two homeruns, driving in three of the Bears’ 4 runs. Smith countered with a 2-run double and the game-winning single in the seventh. Both Wilson and Smith pitched complete games. Wilson allowed 6 hits and struck out 4. Smith gave up 5 hits and struck out 4.

“Those two guys gave us a great show,” said Lawrence County coach Cory Keyes. “They both deserved to win. I’m just glad our guys pulled it out.”

Wilson’s first homer staked West Lincoln to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Smith responded with a 2-run double in the bottom of the frame. It remained 2-1 until the top of the fourth, when West Lincoln’s Tanner Boutwell singled, and Wilson hammered his second homerun of the game. Later in the inning, two mishandled fly balls handed the Bears another run, and a 4-2 lead.

Wilson made that lead stand up until the seventh. At one point, he retired 12 of 13 LCHS batters. In the top of the sixth, Wilson allowed the first two Cougars to reach, via a base on balls and a hit batsman. He slammed the door on that rally, quickly retiring the next three Lawrence County batters.

Lawrence County’s Smith pitched out a jam of his own in the top of the seventh, setting the stage for the Cougars’ game-ending rally. Designated hitter Noah McLaurin started the inning with a single to left. Catcher Logan Greenlee then chopped an infield single-a swinging bunt-down the third base line.

After LCHS right fielder Marcus Atterberry bunted the potential tying runs to second and third, center fielder Kewaun May scored them with a booming triple to center. After West Lincoln intentionally walked the next two batters, Kody Smith ended the game with a single to center.

“I thought Noah’s leadoff single was the key to the game,” said long-time LCHS assistant Craig Davis. “We had blown a potential inning in the sixth, and not much was going our way. That hit gave us a chance. If he makes out right there, I don’t think we win this game.

“West Lincoln deserves a lot of credit. They fielded everything. They never even gave a hint of making an error. Hats off to those guys.”

Lawrence County improved to 2-1 with the win. Steve Barrington’s Bears fell to 2-1.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / West Lincoln center fielder Tanner Boutwell (5) maked a terrific catch in the outfield against Lawrence County Friday.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / West Lincoln center fielder Tanner Boutwell (5) maked a terrific catch in the outfield against Lawrence County Friday.