Cougars break seventh inning tie to defeat Southland 7-6

Published 4:23 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2019

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The Crisp County baseball team played a road game at Southland Academy on Monday afternoon and came up with a one-run victory.

Crisp County scored a run in the top of the seventh inning and held off the Raiders in the bottom half of the frame for a tough 7-6 win in Americus on the day.

The Cougars were ahead 4-0 after the top of the third inning, but the Raiders scored six runs in the bottom half of the third to get in front 6-4.

From there, Crisp tied the game back up at 6-6 with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning before scoring the game-winning run in the top of the seventh.

Crisp County’s bullpen was a key part of the victory as Jordan Grinnell and Noah Walters combined for four and a third innings of shutout baseball, in which they allowed just one Southland base runner on a walk. Walters went for three of those innings and struck out eight Raider batters, while Grinnell pitched a perfect inning and a third.

The Cougars put their first three runs of the game on the board in the top of the first inning.

Toby Stripling led off the contest with a double and he was able to score shortly after when Jackson Napier hit an RBI single to left field. Bailey Barfield drew a walk in the subsequent at bat to give Crisp two runners on base with no one out.

The two runners both moved up a base by stealing, and an error by Southland allowed Napier to make his way to the plate for the second Cougar run. A one-out RBI single from Jack Carter sent Barfield home for the third and final Crisp County run of the inning.

Barfield pitched a pair of scoreless frames over the next two innings, and the Cougars then added to their lead in the top half of the third.

Barfield led off the third inning with a double and Carter picked up another RBI on a two-base hit of his own later on in the inning. Crisp was ahead of the Raiders by a score of 4-0 going into the bottom of the third.

Southland then used a hit by pitch, three Cougar errors, and three hits to score their six runs in the bottom half of the third frame.

The Raiders took a 6-4 lead after the top of the third, but Crisp tied the game back up in the top of the fifth by taking advantage of a couple of key mistakes by Southland.

Carter led off the top of the fifth inning with a single to right field, and Dallas Pheil hit a groundball in the subsequent at-bat that led to an error by a Raider infielder, which left two Cougar runners on base with no outs.

Cole Lancaster put down a sacrifice bunt shortly after to move both runners into scoring position, and a passed ball allowed Crisp courtesy runner Alex Kelley to score the fifth Cougar run of the game. Walters knocked in the game-tying run later on in the frame with a sacrifice fly that scored Pheil, and the teams were tied at six entering the bottom of the fifth.

Walters struck out the side in the bottom half of the fifth to quickly give the Cougar batting lineup a chance to take the lead. Crisp County then got two runners on base in the top of the sixth after Barfield picked up a one-out hit and Connor Richmond got hit by a pitch, but the Raiders got out of the jam using a double play.

Walters used two more strikeouts and a fly out to left field to keep the Raiders scoreless in the bottom half of the sixth, and the Cougars scored the game-winning run shortly after.

Pheil started the seventh inning off with a double, and Lancaster then drew a walk to give Crisp a big run scoring chance. Grinnell sacrificed the runners up into scoring position, and a Raider error with one-out left Crisp with the bases loaded. Napier later took a two-out bases loaded walk to force Pheil home for the 7-6 Cougar lead.

Walters subsequently struck out the side once more in the bottom of the seventh to finish off Crisp County’s second win over Southland this season.

CCHS batting lineup contributors in the win: Carter- three hits and two RBIs; Barfield- two hits, one walk and two runs scored; Pheil- one hit, one walk and two runs; Napier- one hit, one walk, two RBIs and one run scored; Stripling- one hit, one walk, and one run scored; Walters- one RBI.

The Cougars brought their record to 7-3 overall on the season after the victory.

Crisp County was originally scheduled to play a game at Tiftarea Academy tonight but that game will now be played tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. The Cougars’ next game will be at home against Hawkinsville on Friday night at 6.