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Wilcox baseball goes 1-1 in first two games of 2019

The Wilcox County High School baseball team opened their 2019 season with a pair of home games this week. On Monday, the Patriots came back from a 6-0 deficit to defeat Chattahoochee County 8-6 for an opening day win. Wilcox then fell to region opponent Charlton County 10-8 on Tuesday night in Rochelle.

Wilcox Patriots 8, Chattahoochee 6 

Wilcox trailed 6-0 after the top of the fourth inning of Monday afternoon’s season opener against Chattahoochee.

The Patriots then scored eight unanswered runs over the next three innings to win 8-6.

Wilcox County got one run on the board in the bottom of the fourth on a Clark Gaines RBI single that scored Branson Owens.

The Patriots then kept the rally going with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Bo Keene reached base on an  error with one out in the frame, and Brock White sent the runner home with an RBI double. Rhett Davis hit a ground ball towards second later in the inning, and an error on the play by Chattahoochee County allowed White to score the third Wilcox run of the day. The Patriots had cut the lead to 6-3 entering the top of the sixth.

Wilcox pitcher Lagan Luke got three quick outs in the top half of the sixth to let the Patriot batting order get right back to work in the bottom half, and they picked up five more runs to take an 8-6 lead.

Judge McDonald led off the bottom of the sixth with a double to center field, and Keene later walked in the inning to give the Patriots two runners on with one out. Wilcox courtesy runner Kemorion Larkin subsequently reached home plate on a passed ball to make the score 6-4.

Later on in the frame, Owens came up to bat with the bases loaded and hit an RBI single, which also led to a Chattahoochee County error. Keene, White, and Cameron Coleman scored on the play to give Wilcox the lead, and Owens later scored on another Chattahoochee error after Davis had put the ball in play. The Patriots led 8-6 after six innings of play.

Luke walked the first batter in the top of the seventh, but he quickly got the final three outs to cap off the Wilcox comeback win. He pitched the whole game for the Patriots and came up with the win, allowing six runs (four earned runs) on four hits and five walks while striking out 10 batters over seven innings of work.

Batting lineup leaders for Wilcox in the game were as follows: Owens-three hits, two runs scored and one RBI; White- one hit, one RBI, and two runs scored; Gaines- one hit and one RBI; Keene- one walk and two runs scored; Coleman and Larkin- one run each; Davis- one RBI; McDonald- one hit.

Charlton County 10, Wilcox County 8

Wilcox fell to region 2-A opponent Charlton County 10-8 on Tuesday night in Rochelle.

Charlton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a sacrifice fly, but the Patriots tied the score with an RBI walk from Luke in the bottom half of the frame. The teams were tied at 1-1 after the first inning.

The Charlton County Indians then took a 4-1 lead with two runs in the second inning and one in the top of the third.

Wilcox subsequently closed the gap to 4-3 entering the fifth inning with a pair of runs over the bottom of the third and fourth frames.

A fielder’s choice groundout off the bat of McDonald allowed Gaines to score the Wilcox third inning run. Gaines later picked up an RBI on a groundout that scored Coleman during the fourth inning for the third Patriot run of the game.

Charlton later tacked on three runs in the top of the sixth to extend their lead to 7-3, but the Patriots answered with five runs in the bottom half of the inning to take an 8-7 lead.

A home run from Owens provided the first two runs for Wilcox in the sixth inning, and Luke knocked in the third Patriot run of the frame with an RBI single shortly after. McDonald followed with a sacrifice fly to centerfield for the game-tying score, and an RBI hit by Keene subsequently gave Wilcox the lead.

Charlton went on to score three runs in the top of the seventh inning, using a pair of Wilcox errors, a hit by pitch and an RBI hit, to escape with the 10-8 region win.

Batting order stats for the Patriots in the game: 1. Coleman- one hit, one run, and one walk; 2. White- two walks and two runs scored; 3. Owens- two hits (one HR), two RBIs, and one run scored; 4. Davis- two hits, one walk, and one run scored; 5. Gaines- two walks, one RBI and two runs scored; 6. Luke- one hit, two RBIs, two walks and one run scored; 7. McDonald- two RBIs; 8. Trace Jones- one hit; 9. Keene- one hit and one RBI.

The Patriots will play at Irwin County (3-1) on Friday night at 6 p.m., and their next home game is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon against Telfair County starting at 5:30.