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Cougars defeat Howard, fall to Mary Persons in Friday double header

Staff Reports

The Crisp County High School baseball team completed a busy four-game schedule last week by splitting a pair of games at Mary Persons High School in Forsyth on Friday. The Cougars pulled out a 7-5 win in extra innings against the Howard High School Huskies in game one, before falling to the host team, Mary Persons, 14-0 in game two.

Cougars 7, Howard 5

The Cougars took a 7-5 win over Howard (8-7) in the first game of the day in a back and forth contest.

Crisp County scored the first three runs of the game in the top half of the second inning. Jackson Napier and Noah Walters each reached base to start the frame and the two used stolen bases and some defensive mistakes from Howard to make their way around the base path for the first two runs of the game.

Later on in the top of the second inning, Jordan Grinnell and Cole Lancaster took consecutive one-out walks, and Jack Carter followed with an RBI groundout on a fielder’s choice for a 3-0 Cougar lead after the top of the third.

Howard High later scored one run in the bottom of the third, and two in the bottom half of the fifth to tie the score at 3-3 going into the sixth inning.

The Cougars fought back with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 5-3 lead. Napier led off the frame by taking first base after being hit by a pitch, and Walters followed up with a walk. The two moved up another base by stealing, and both ended up scoring shortly after on Howard errors.

The Huskies responded with one run in the bottom half of the sixth, and another in the seventh to tie the game at 5-5. Howard had the potential game-winning run at second base with no outs after the RBI hit that tied the score, but Crisp County’s Alex Kelley took the mound in relief and got the Cougars out of the jam by getting three consecutive outs to strand the runner at second base. The teams then entered the eighth inning with the score tied at 5-5.

In the top of the eighth inning, Grinnell drew a one-out walk and later scored on an RBI double from Lancaster to give the Cougars a 6-5 lead. Carter followed with a walk to put two Crisp County runners on base, and Lancaster then scored the seventh Cougar run of the game after another Howard error.

The Cougars took a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the eighth, and Connor Richmond took the mound to protect the lead. The Huskies were able to manage a pair of base runners in the frame with one out, but Richmond got a fly out to Toby Stripling in center field, followed by a groundout to himself to close the game down for a Cougar win.

Five different players pitched for CCHS in the game and helped contribute to the victory. Bailey Barfield got the start and pitched for two and one-third innings, in which he allowed one Howard run on two hits and one walk while recording one strikeout. Grinnell came on in relief of Barfield in the third inning and pitched for two and two-thirds innings, allowing two unearned runs on two hits and one walk while striking out four batters. Carter pitched for an inning and allowed two Howard runs (one earned) on three hits. From there, Kelley pitched a scoreless frame while recording a strikeout, and Richmond picked up the save by pitching a scoreless bottom of the eighth.

Cougar offensive contributors in the win: Carter- two walks and one RBI; Lancaster- one hit, one walk, one RBI, and one run scored; Napier- one hit, three stolen bases and two runs scored; Walters- two walks, two stolen bases, and two runs scored; Stripling- three walks; Grinnell- three walks, three stolen bases and two runs scored; Kelley- three stolen bases; Richmond and Barfield- one stolen base apiece.

Mary Persons 14, Cougars 0

The Cougars fell to a tough Mary Persons team (12-4) in game two on Friday by a final score of 14-0 after five innings of play.

Barfield recorded two hits and stole a base in the run-rule shortened defeat, while Napier finished with a hit and one stolen base.

The 1-1 split in Friday’s double-header gave the Cougars a 2-2 mark in total for last week’s four-game schedule. Crisp brought their record to 9-7 overall on the season after the week’s results.

The Cougars begin region 1-AAA play this week with a home game tomorrow against Worth County beginning at 5:30 p.m. Crisp and Worth will then meet for a double-header in Sylvester on Friday afternoon starting at 4:30.