The Cougar baseball team picked up an important, District win on Wednesday as they defeated the visiting Raiders of Whitesville Trinity 7-4 at Don Lee Field.
The Cougars sent 12 men to the plate and scored all seven of their runs in the second inning. They were aided by four Whitesville errors which led to four unearned runs. Junior catcher Logan Ramsey drove in one run with a double, while senior shortstop Dylan Yaden drove in another with a groundout.
Three Cougar pitchers combined for the win. Senior Joseph Anthony pitched the first three innings, allowing no runs on just one hit. He walked no one and struck out three.
Junior Zach Roberson pitched the fourth and fifth innings and gave up the Raiders’ four runs, only two of which were earned, on two hits and a walk.
Sophomore lefty Gage Akridge pitched the final two innings, allowing no runs on one hit. Akridge walked one and struck out three.
Junior first-baseman Alex Shellhart led off the seven-run second with a double to the wall in center field. He later advanced to third on a wild pitch from Raider starter Jack Goetz, then scored the first run on another Goetz wild pitch.
Third-baseman Logan Stevenson singled to right and moved to second when Jordan Turner was hit by a pitch. Chandler England moved both runners with a sacrifice bunt, and when the throw got past Raider second-baseman Allen Howe, Stevenson scored and the other runners wound up at second and third with no one out.
Yaden hit a ground ball to second for the first out of the inning, but Turner came in to make it 3-0, while England moved to third. Leadoff hitter Logan Ramsey belted a double deep to right-center to drive in England with the fourth run of the inning before Jameson Van Meter grounded back to the pitcher for the second out. Ramsey moved up to third on the putout.
Wyatt Skaggs followed by hitting a high, fly ball to center-fielder Blake Booker for what should have been the final out of the inning, but Booker dropped the ball and Ramsey scored to make it 5-0.
The Raiders had another chance to end the inning when Anthony hit a high pop-up on the infield, but first-baseman Nathaniel Mills dropped this ball and the Cougars had runners at the corners with two outs. Shellhart walked to load the bases for Stevenson, who hit a sharp grounder to third-baseman Devon Howard, who saw the ball go right between his legs for the fouth error of the inning as two more runs scored making it 7-0.
Goetz finnally got out of the inning when Turner flew out to left, but the damage had already been done. The Raiders brought in Drew Mills in the third inning, and the right-hander held the Cougars scoreless on three hits over the final four innings.
The Raiders tried to make a game of it with four runs off Roberson in the fifth inning. Jack Sloan walked leading off the inning and moved to second on a single by Eric Howard. Devon Howard followed with a grounder to Yaden at short for the first out of the inning, but the runners moved to second and third on the play.
Goetz stung another ball to short, and when the ball was mishandled by Yaden, a run scored and the Raiders had runners at the corners. Mills then singled to left to drive in Howe to make it 7-2. Skyler Dickens grounded out to Van Meter at second for the second out of the inning as the runners advanced to second and third.
Howe then singled to left-center to drive in both runners to make it a 7-4 game. Mills followed with a liner to right which was gathered in by Skaggs for the final out of the inning.
That was it for the Raiders as Akridge came in in the sixth and shut them down. A single and a walk put two runners on with two outs in the seventh, but Akridge struck out Howe looking to put the game in the win column for the Cougars, who moved to 3-2 on the early season.