Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local Sports

February 20, 2013

Blue Devils spoil Cougars' 2013 baseball debut

Tifton — It wasn’t until Game 28 that Crisp County High’s Cougars suffered their first loss of their record-setting 2012 baseball season. Their initial defeat this year came right off the bat.

Going up against Class AAAAAA Tift County in its official 2013 debut Tuesday night, coach Bill Pate’s squad dropped a 7-5 decision during which their bats were cold and their defense was somewhat shaky.

“We struck out 14 times so it’s pretty obvious we definitely have to work on our hitting,” Pate said in assessing his team’s performance. “We also made too many errors in the field both physically (3) and mentally.

“Other than the one inning when Tift got five of its runs, our pitching wasn’t bad overall as with a little better defensive support then we could have gotten out of that jam without a lot of damage.”

Things started out on a positive note for Crisp which in the top of the first staked starting pitcher Robert Tyler to a 4-0 lead.

Walks issued to Devin Taylor and Bradley Hough preceded an RBI single by Tyler. Back-to-back free passes issued to Kory Herrington and Stewart Tyler forced in a second run before wild pitches uncorked by the Blue Devils hurler allowed two more runners to race home.

Tift wrapped a pair of singles around a stolen base to score the first run of the season off early University of Georgia signee Robert Tyler who in his three innings of work on the mound struck out five and walked one. The Cougars got that run back in the fourth on Hough’s RBI single to make it 5-1.

An inning later, Tift pushed across five runs only one of which was earned off Crisp sophomore southpaw Logan Carter who in walking two, fanning two and allowing three hits would eventually be saddled with the mound loss.

With two down and a runner at first, the Blue Devils used a hit batsman, two singles, a walked and two errors — one of them a dropped pop fly — to do the brunt of their scoring damage for the night. They added an insurance run in the sixth off C.J. White who struck out one and allowed one hit.

“Overall, it was a typical opener when you have new kids in your line-up who are out there learning for the first time at the varsity level,” Pate said. “Over time, we’ll get better as the bats come on around and we iron out our defense.”

Crisp, which will be in Leesburg for games today at 6 vs. Lee County, Friday at 4:30 vs. Colquitt County and Saturday at noon against Centennial, wound up with just four hits in the game. Hough collected two of them.

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