Lawrence County crush Brookhaven

Published 10:45 pm Saturday, March 5, 2016

Lawrence County hammered Brookhaven 23-8 Friday night at Moyer Field. Josh Garrett’s Cougars banged out 16 hits in just four innings, fighting off an early challenge from the rebuilding Panthers.

“We swung it really well tonight,” said Garrett, in his second season at the helm of his alma mater. “That’s a good thing, because we didn’t pitch or defend all that well.”

The Cougars scored three in the top of the first, with a Josh Stephens two-run single being the key blow. Brookhaven responded with two in the bottom of the inning, as Reese Reynaud flaired a two-out, two-run single of his own.

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The second inning was a strange one, with the two teams combining for a whopping 12 runs. First, the visiting Cougars put up six, as Marcus Atterberry, Rishad Haynes and Seth Bass all had run-scoring doubles. In the bottom of the frame, Ole Brook took advantage of five free passes – four hit batsmen and a walk – to put up six runs of its own. Freshman catcher Jacob Porter had an RBI single.

Leading 9-8 after an adventurous two innings, Lawrence County put the game away with an 11-run outburst in the top of the third. Brandon Bullock and Marcus Atterberry each had two hits in the inning. Marcus Kees had a two-run double, and T-Tez Cole’s only swing of the night – he was walked three times, twice intentionally -produced a booming RBI double.

Bullock, an LCHS sophomore, struggled mightily in his first pitching start of the season, walking or plunking five of the 10 batters he faced. Bullock fared just fine at the plate, however, going 3-for-5 with a single, a double and a two-run homerun. Marcus Atterberry also had three hits for the Cougars, who improved to 4-1 with the win.

Stephens, Kees and Kasey Durr each had two hits for Lawrence County. Cole, Bass, Haynes and Gabriel Lewis also hit safely. Durr relieved Bullock with none out in the second. After some second-inning complications of his own, Durr shut the Panthers out in the final two frames. The game was halted after four innings.

Ole Brook got hits from Reese Reynaud, Jacob Porter, Darrian Wilson, Tyler Mixon and Clint Stephens. Randy Spring’s Panthers fell to 0-4.

“I don’t know that we’ve ever hit that many hard smashes in one game,” said long-time LCHS assistant Craig Davis, who has witnessed virtually every Lawrence County High baseball game. “We’re swinging it pretty well right now.

“That said, I tip my hat to the guys on the other side. They’re accustomed to winning a lot of games over there. The wins aren’t real easy to come by right now, but the energy and effort of those players and coaches is so positive. The scoreboard doesn’t always reflect the quality of the effort.”

In junior varsity action, Brookhaven won 7-3 in a four-inning game. Trace Owens, Johnny Bowman and Coker Wright all saw mound duty for the Panthers. Darius Bryant had two hits.