LCHS Cougars clobber South Pike

Published 3:30 am Sunday, March 29, 2015

MONTICELLO-The coats and blankets were out at Jimmie Davis Park Friday night. It looked and felt more like mid-February than late-March as the Lawrence County Cougars and South Pike Eagles tangled in a Division 7-4A high school baseball game.

The weather wasn’t the only thing that was a bit strange about Lawrence County’s 13-1 win over South Pike. Though the game was played at LCHS, it was South Pike’s home game. Heavy Thursday rains left the Eagles’ field unplayable, so South Pike agreed to play the game in Monticello-though the Eagles and Cougars had played at Jimmie Davis Park just three nights earlier.

Making themselves quite at home at JDP, the Eagles made a game of it for 4 innings. Hard-throwing right-hander Kadarious Varnado of South Pike stymied the Cougars on 1 run and 1 hit through 4 frames. LCHS led just 1-0.

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The Eagles’ dam burst in the top of the fifth, however. The “visiting” Cougars scored 3 in the fifth, 4 in the sixth, and 5 in the seventh, giving Lawrence County a misleading blowout win.

“Their guy did a great job,” said first-year Lawrence County coach Josh Garrett. “It wasn’t that we were doing that poorly. He’s just a really tough guy, and he kept them in the game for a long time.”

After Lawrence County upped its lead to 4-0 with its 3-run fifth, 3 consecutive extra base hits in the sixth blew the game open. After Kasey Durr and Joshua Stephens both banged RBI doubles, Kody Smith overpowered a stiff west wind with a line drive homerun to left field. Durr then added a 2-run single in the seventh.

Durr led LCHS with 3 hits. Stephens and Smith each had 2. Brandon Bullock also hit safely.

Defensively, the Cougars had a strong game, playing error-free baseball behind the strong pitching of Durr and Stephens. Durr threw 5 shutout innings, striking out 8. Stephens pitched the final 2 frames, allowing a run on 3 hits, and striking out 3.

Robert Holmes had 2 hits for Neal Smith’s Eagles. Chip Brumfield, Jeffery Pace, Keshun Nimox, Brandon Andrews, and Varnado also hit safely.

Lawrence County improved to 10-2 overall, and 4-0 in Division 7-4A play. South Pike fell to 0-4 in the division.

Lawrence County also claimed a junior varsity scrimmage, winning 8-0 in a 5-inning contest. Trey Thurman pitched 3 innings and Rishad Haynes, the final 2. They combined to strike out 7. Bryce Bullock and Gage Daley each had 2 hits for the LC jayvees. Thurman and Landon Trott also hit safely.