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Lawrence County defeats Clinton

MONTICELLO-Lawrence County scored 9 runs in its final two at-bats to beat Clinton 11-7 in high school baseball action Saturday afternoon, at Jimmie Davis Park. LCHS overcame an early 5-0 deficit, scoring 11 unanswered runs, to claim the non-division win.

“We had a great day,” said first-year Lawrence County coach Josh Garrett. “It didn’t look so great early on, but our guys stayed with the fight, and were able to turn the game around. This was a good win over a quality 6A program.”

With the win, Garrett’s Cougars improved to 11-2 overall. Lawrence County is 4-0 in Division 7-4A play, entering this week’s division action against Columbia. Clinton, under veteran coach Eddie Lofton, fell to 8-5.

Clinton scored a run on 3 hits in the top of the second, grabbing a 1-0 lead. In the top of the second, 7 consecutive Arrows reached base, via 5 hits and 2 bases on balls. Clinton, however, lost a runner on the basepaths, and scored only 4 runs in what could have been a much bigger inning.

“I thought that was the key to the game,” said long-time LCHS assistant Craig Davis. “We could have easily been down 7 or 8 runs. It’s not good to be down 5-0, but at least you’ve still got a chance. If you’re down 8-0, you’re probably done for.”

Junior left-hander Brennan Lang relieved Cougar starter Logan Greenlee in the third, getting the final two outs on fly balls. Utilizing a plethora of off-speed pitches, Lang retired 10 of the first 11 Clinton batters he faced, mostly on soft fly balls. Lang allowed 2 runs, both of them unearned, in the seventh inning.

Lawrence County’s comeback with 2 unearned runs in the bottom of the third. In the bottom of the fifth, the Cougars erupted for 7 runs. Kasey Durr started the inning with a leadoff single, and finished it off with an RBI double. In between, it was Marcus Atterberry’s 2-run single that tied the game.

In the bottom of the sixth, Kody Smith led off with a mammoth homerun to left field. Later in the frame, Brandon Bullock’s RBI double gave the Cougars their final run. Clinton’s minor comeback attempt in the seventh fell short.

Durr, Greenlee, and Joshua Stephens each had 2 hits for Lawrence County. Smith, Bullock, Atterberry, and Seth Bass each had 1.

Right-fielder Adam Jackson has 3 singles to lead the Arrows. Designated hitter Kyler Johnson and first baseman Dylan Creel each had 2. Left-hander Cortez Posey started for Clinton and gave it a good fight. He worked 4 and 1/3 innings, and had the Arrows in the lead until the wheels came off in the fifth inning.

“This was a good win for us,” said Coach Garrett,” in that Clinton is comparable to our remaining division opponents. This should give us some confidence heading into the meat of our schedule.”

Lawrence County also overcame an early deficit in a 5-inning junior varsity scrimmage, winning 6-5. Brandon Bullock pitched 3 innings and Marcus Atterberry worked the fourth and fifth. All 5 Clinton runs resulted from early control problems from both. Clinton scored 3 in the first, and 2 in the fourth. Four of the five who scored reached base via bases on balls.

The Lawrence County jayvees got hits from Payton Davis, Roy Martin, Kyle Graves, and Landon Trott. LC scored 2 runs in the bottom of the fifth to claim the win.