More errors than hits cost Cougars

Published 4:02 pm Saturday, March 25, 2017

By Joe Joe Wright

With a final score of 15-8 one might think that pitching is a problem. In the case of the Cougars opening region game against Cook their loss was really squarely on the back of awful fielding. Starting in the top of the first throwing errors led to 3 unearned runs for the visiting Cook Hornets. There is a cascading effect when you have errors. First off errors are like diarrhea they lead to runs and second they run your pitchers pitch count up. Starting Cougar Ace Myles Napier was bringing the ball well but after 2 and a third innings of errors he had to be pulled. On came relief from Billy Jones who pitched two thirds of inning to finish the third. The Hornets added 7 runs in the third to take a commanding 10-0 lead. In the bottom of the 4th the Cougars drew a walk a hit and some errors by Cook and made the score 10-4 and they left runners on base. After an easy 5th inning reliever Ty Johnson only threw 7 pitches, the Cougars looked poised to make a comeback. The bottom of the 6th inning saw Crisp push 4 more runs across the plate to pull within 2 runs. Overall the Cougars gave a grand total of 11 unearned runs and committed 6 errors though it looked like 8. In the top of the 7th the bottom fell off as Cook garnered 5 more runs to put the game out of reach. The lone bright spot on offense was 3rd baseman Dee Purdy who gathered 2 of the 3 Cougar hits and Brennan Bledsoe made his pitching debut going two thirds of an inning and getting the Hornets out. A few things jump out to this reporter about the 2017 Cougars. 1. They are not aggressive at bat and often watch the first pitch and consequently their strikeout ratio is very high. 2. They make a lot of mental errors which hurts their pitching forcing the pitch counts high. 3. They fall behind early and have to fight back.

“We shot ourselves in the foot over and over,” said Head Coach Bill Pate.

At the start of the season I had thoughts that our pitching may suffer somewhat this year, but that is not the case. The starting rotation of pitchers has been doing a good job but a lack of run production and many errors have plagued the Cougars.

The Crisp County Cougars traveled down to Adel for the second of a three game series with Cook County. The Cougar effort and performance was much better as they out hit the home team 12 hits to 10 but alas they fell victim to the scoreboard 6-4. The Cougars drop to 0-2 in region play with one more game Friday night against Cook in Cordele. The Cougars stranded a lot of runners on Thursday night. Starting pitcher Will Lanneau went 4 and one-third innings on the mound before being relieved by Hudson Coleman who tallied one and a third inning. Chase Yawn closed out the game with a third of an inning. For the Cougars offense Lanneau and Brennan Bledsoe both collected 3 hits and Yawn garnered two hits. Myles Napier had a single and a triple in the Cougar loss. In the top of the 7th with the score 6-1 Cook the Cougars put together a string of hits and scored 3 runs. With runners at 1st and 2nd and one out an infield fly rule was called and the ball was actually dropped. The runners advanced and with two outs and runners at 2nd and 3rd another pop up ended the game. “ We got to keep on keeping on,” said Head Coach Bill Pate. “We can’t allow ourselves to get down, the boys showed a lot of poise fighting back like they did.”

Game 2 @ Adel