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Lawrence Co., Franklin Co. win in tournament action

MONTICELLO – Franklin County, Lawrence County and Mother Nature were the big winners on Day Three of the Southwest Mississippi Spring Break Baseball Classic at Lawrence County High School. Franklin County swamped Salem 12-1 and host Lawrence County easily handled Natchez 9-1 in two early games. Then, with three more games slated for Jimmie Davis Park, the bottom fell out. The three late games were cancelled, and two games scheduled for Friday are in extreme peril.

“Hey, we’ve had 11 ballgames on our field this week,” said Lawrence County coach Josh Garrett, “and we got two in today when most people cancelled. The forecast for the rest of our spring break classic doesn’t look too good, but we’re happy to have gotten in as many as we have. I doubt there will be much baseball in Mississippi this weekend.”

The spring break event has become an annual staple at LCHS. This year’s event was already a bit watered down by the fact that area school districts weren’t on the same page in terms is spring break. Several teams that traditionally participate in the classic were unable do so this year.

“Hopefully, next year, we’ll all have the same spring break,” Garrett said, “and our tournament will get back to normal. We enjoy doing it, and I think it’s been a big hit with our neighboring schools. We have every intention of doing it again in 2017.”

As for Thursday’s games, Franklin County got a five-inning, two-hitter from Dalivan Hunt, as the Bulldogs steadily pulled away from Salem. Franklin County led 4-0 after three innings, then put the game away with three in the fourth, and five more in the fifth.

Catcher Chase Freeman had two doubles to lead the Franklin County offense. Thomas Slagle added two singles. Antonio Christmas had a two-run triple. Hunt, DeMartre Collins, and Chris Cantrell also had hits.

Hunt had a shutout until the bottom of the fifth, when Tanner Polk and Landon Tynes put together Salem’s only two hits. Dylan Bergerson absorbed the loss for the Wildcats.

In the final game before the skies opened, Josh Garrett’s Cougars took care of visiting Natchez. Lawrence County scored six runs on four hits in the bottom of the first to take total control of the game. Natchez tallied one run in the top of the second, but LCHS secured the win with a three-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth. The game was halted via the tournament five inning/eight run rule after Natchez was retired in the top of the fifth. Shortly thereafter, the heavens let loose.

Marcus Kees went 3-for-3, with two doubles and an RBI single, to lead the Lawrence County onslaught. Second baseman Gabriel Lewis had two RBI singles. Pitcher Brennan Lang also had two hits. Brandon Bullock, Seth Bass, and Josh Stephens also hit safely.

Lang started and went the full five innings for Lawrence County. He allowed six hits and struck out six. LCHS improved to 6-1 with the win.

First baseman Quincy Henderson had a double for Natchez. In the second, Henderson, Derrick Lewis, and Tavez Lyles put together consecutive hits to tally the Bulldogs’ lone run. Ty Terrell, Chris Scott, and Shavokee Herrington also hit safely.

Lyles, Jordan Hamilton, and Phillip Hargreaves pieced together the pitching effort for Natchez. Hamilton was most effective, shutting the Cougars out in the second and third innings.