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Harrison Central defeats Lawrence Co. Cougars

PETAL – The Harrison Central Red Rebels used a five-run second inning to power past Lawrence County 8-2 Wednesday night at the Petal Invitational. Harrison Central put together four hits in the decisive frame and took advantage of a couple Lawrence County miscues.

With the win, Harrison Central, under veteran coach Pat Olmi, improved to 2-1 on the season. Lawrence County, coached by Josh Garrett, fell to 2-1.

Lawrence County got first-inning singles out of Kasey Durr, T-Tez Cole, Marcus Atterberry, and Marcus Kees to grab a 2-0 lead. It stayed that way until the bottom of the second, when Cougar left-hander Brennan Lang and his defense had a nightmarish inning. Lang got hit a bit in the frame, but it was a series of misplays – including two that didn’t go in the scorebook as errors – that did the Cougars in.

“We had a really bad inning,” said Garrett. “That ruined an otherwise good game. Aside from that, we pitched fairly well, defended well, and made good contact at the plate. Hats off to Harrison Central. They played a very clean game.”

Catcher Christian Litz had a two-run triple in the big inning. He and third baseman Brendan Hardy each had two hits to lead the Red Rebels.

Harrison Central added a single run in the third, and two more off reliever Atterberry in the fourth.

The Red Rebels maintained their lead with solid pitching and great defense. Left-hander Jordan Harris went five innings, allowing nine hits but effectively pitching out of some tough spots. In the top of the fifth, with runners on second and third and one out, center fielder D’Artagnan Hawthorne made a spectacular diving catch of a wicked line drive off the bat of Atterberry, turning it into an inning-ending double play.

“We swung the bats pretty well tonight,” said Garrett. “We only struck out once in seven innings. We had a lot of hard contact, but hit in some tough luck.”

Durr, Cole, Josh Stephens, and Gabriel Lewis each had two hits for Lawrence County. Atterberry and Kees each had one. Lang and Atterberry each worked three innings.

Lawrence County will take on Franklin County at Moyer Field today in Ole Brook’s Invitational. Game time is 4:30.