LCHS Cougars roar past Hazlehurst

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, April 24, 2014

MONTICELLO-The Lawrence County Cougars closed their 2014 baseball season with a 16-5 win over Hazlehurst Tuesday night, at Jimmie Davis Park. The Cougars exploded for 14 runs in the bottom of the third to secure the win, and assure LCHS of its 26th winning season in the 27-year history of its baseball program. The Cougars finished the season at 14-12.

The game also marked the close of head coach Cory Keyes’ 10-year tenure at the Cougars’ baseball helm. Keyes announced to his players last week that this season would be his last in that position.

“Obviously, it’s good to end it with a win,” Keyes said. “While this wasn’t one of the more successful seasons in our history, it was an enjoyable one, because of the caliber of young men we’ve got on this team.

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“On another positive note, many of the major contributors on this team will be here for another two, or even three, years. There should be some good days ahead for this program.”

Keyes’ Cougars went 213-92 in his run as head coach, enjoying winning seasons all 10 years. Keyes’ most successful team went 30-6 in 2006, losing a best-of-three series to Petal in the South State 4A finals.

“I’ve had a great run,” Keyes said, “but it’s time to do something else, and for someone else to head this program. LCHS baseball will always be dear to me. It’s been a huge part of my life.”

With Hazlehurst leading 3-2 in the bottom of the third, Lawrence County exploded for 14 runs on 7 hits, the Cougars’ biggest inning of the season. LCHS shortstop T-Tez Cole blasted 2 homeruns in the frame, including a grand slam that accounted for the Cougars’ final 4 runs.

Cole and Kody Smith each had 3 hits to lead Lawrence County. Gabriel Lewis added 2 RBI singles. Will Jackson, Logan Greenlee and Marcus Atterberry also had hits.

Jackson, along with center fielder Kewaun May, is one of only two seniors on the Cougars baseball roster who earned the win on the mound. He worked 4 and 2/3 innings of the 5-inning game. He and May were removed from the game for the final out, escorted to the dugout by a rousing ovation.

“I appreciate the kind words thrown my way tonight,” Keyes said, “but tonight was really more about Kewuan and Will than about me. Your final high school baseball game is something special. Those guys have been wonderful representatives of this program and this school, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

For Trey Lindsey’s Indians, Jarvis Warner, LaDarrious Williams, Anfernee Jordan and Nick Smith had hits.