Grand slam, complete game help Cougars beat Yellow Jackets

Published 9:54 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — One swing of the bat and a complete game helped the Brookhaven Academy Cougars to a 4-3 win Monday evening. A umpire remarked to BA head coach Caleb Upton it was the “One of the best games I have seen all year,” as he walked off the field. 

The game had everything from timely hitting, excellent fielding and two home runs. Oak Forest had men at the corners when pitcher Jud Griffin struck out the last batter to end the game. He strutted off of the mound fired up about his seven innings of work. 

Oak Forest scored the first run of the game on an error in the top of the second. BA responded in the third inning when freshman Caleb Authement stepped to the plate. The right hander blasted a ball deep over the left field wall for a grand slam to give BA a 4-1 lead. 

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“It was my fifth home run but my first grand slam,” Authement said. “It was pretty fun. I was thinking the bases are loaded, go yard what else could go wrong. I thought you had to swing for the fences. They threw a slider down the middle of the plate. It looked like a beach ball.” 

His four-run shot was the only scoring BA needed. Griffin, a senior pitcher, buckled down and yielded just six hits. Of his 103 pitches, 64 of them were strikes and he got eight batters to ground out and eight batters to fly out. 

Authement said Griffin is his favorite pitcher to catch because he throws a lot of strikes and throws hard. His key to success on the mound Monday was getting ahead in the count and felt his breaking ball was good. Additionally, he managed to work his fastball inside and outside which helped. 

His arm might be sore in the morning but it helps the Cougars save pitchers for a possible double header Wednesday when they play Oak Forest. Possible severe storms and rain this time of year means games are up in the air. Coaches reminded the team they should expect to play and not worry about whether they are playing or not. 

Schedule changes can weigh on players. Sometimes series are postponed a few weeks or games have to be played back to back. 

Griffin did his part to save arms for future games and said he felt better the longer the game went. After giving up a run in the sixth inning, Upton and Authement met Griffin at the mound. He got out of the inning and finished the game strong. 

“I felt like I picked up energy as I went on. At first, I was tight  but I got to where I could put the fastball where I wanted,” he said. “It was just a break. It was a tight spot and they got me to refocus.” 

Once he graduates, Griffin plans to play baseball at Co-Lin but he isn’t sure what he plans to study quite yet. 

“They have a new coach and they have a bright future. I think they will make me a better player,” Griffin said. “This season means a lot to me. I have played here since I was in eighth grade. My advice to (Authement) is to hit more nukes and to work hard.”