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CCHS baseball drops opener at Perry

Cougars fight their way back from four runs down versus Perry, but ultimately fall 7-6 in season opener

Bad weather in the area on Tuesday forced the Crisp County High School baseball team to postpone what was supposed to be their season opener at Peach County, so the Cougars opened their 2019 regular season schedule on Wednesday night at Perry High School instead.

The Perry Panthers came up with a 7-6 victory over the Cougars in the early season contest, but Crisp did not go down without a fight.

The Panthers led 6-2 entering the sixth inning, but the Cougars plated four runs in the top half of the inning to even the score up going into the bottom half. From there, the Panthers scored the games final run in the bottom of the sixth frame, and held off CCHS for the 7-6 win.

Perry opened the scoring in the contest with a pair of RBI groundouts in the bottom of the first inning by Caleb Morgan and Jayden Chance.

The Cougars subsequently pushed their first run of the game across in the top of the second frame. Jack Carter led off the inning with a single, and Cole Lancaster followed with a walk. A strikeout and a runner caught stealing shortly after gave Crisp two outs in the inning still with a runner on base, and Lancaster later made his way over to third after a base hit by Alex Kelley. A mistake by the Panther catcher then allowed Lancaster to reach home plate to get the Cougars on the board.

Cougar pitcher Noah Walters struck out the side in the bottom of the second to keep the Perry lead at 2-1 going into the third inning.

Crisp then tied the score at two apiece in the top half of the third. Consecutive two out singles by Walters and Bailey Barfield set up a run scoring chance, and Carter put the ball in play on the infield in the next at bat, which led to an error by Perry, allowing Walters to score.

Perry broke the tie in the bottom half of the third frame by scoring three runs on a pair of Cougar errors. The Panthers went on to add another run in the bottom of the fourth go in front by a score of 6-2.

After a scoreless fifth inning, the Cougars tied the score with their four-run top of the sixth.

The rally started with back-to-back one out doubles from Carter and Lancaster, giving Crisp runners at second and third. Kelley then came up with a two-out RBI single to left field to score Carter, and Lancaster also made his way to the plate after an error by Perry. Jordan Grinnell drew a walk and subsequently stole second base to give Crisp runners at second and third with two outs, and Toby Stripling came up to bat next and tied the score with a two-RBI single. The teams entered the bottom half of the sixth frame tied at 6-6.

The Panthers then retook the lead at 7-6 using a pair of singles in the bottom of the sixth inning, including the go-ahead RBI hit off the bat of Andrew Newhouse. Perry loaded the bases in the inning with two outs, but the Cougars got out of the jam still only trailing by one run.

A hit by pitch, followed by a walk and a bunt single loaded up the bases for the Cougars in the top of the seventh inning, but three consecutive strikeouts by Perry pitcher Jayden Chance ended the game with the Panthers on top 7-6.

Offensive leaders for the Cougars in the contest were: Stripling- one hit, two RBIs, one stolen base and two walks; Lancaster- two hits, two runs scored, and one walk; Kelley- two hits, one RBI, one run scored, and one walk; Carter- two hits, one run scored and one walk.

CCHS pitching stats from the game were as follows: Walters- three innings, five runs (two earned), one hit, three walks, and six strikeouts; Connor Richmond- three innings, two runs (one earned), four hits, three walks, and two strikeouts.

The Cougars are scheduled to play their home opener tonight against Westover at 5:30 p.m., and next week they will be in action on Monday with a game at Veterans High at 12:30, followed by a contest with Howard at 3. The Cougars will then play on the road at Westover on Wednesday at 5:30.

(All photos by Jessica Carter)

CCHS senior Tanner Massey steps up to the plate for an at-bat during Wednesday’s Crisp County vs Perry matchup.

CCHS senior Bailey Barfield takes his lead off of second base while awaiting the next pitch during Wednesday’s game at Perry High.

Crisp County High School sophomore Noah Walters on the mound preparing to fire a pitch during Wednesday night’s CCHS game at Perry High School.