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Wilcox baseball defeats Lanier and Clinch in midweek region clashes

The Wilcox County High School baseball team added two region wins to their record during this week’s action.

On Tuesday, the Patriots took a 13-3 run-rule shortened win over the Lanier County Bulldogs (9-8 overall record, 6-6 in region play) in Rochelle to earn a 1-1 split in a two game set against their region opponents from Lakeland. Following the win over Lanier, the Patriots knocked off the region 2-A title contending Clinch County Panthers (17-5, 10-2) on Wednesday afternoon in Homerville by a final score of 10-9 after eight innings of play.

Patriots 13, Lanier County 3 

The Bulldogs won the first contest between the two this past Saturday afternoon in Lakeland by a 12-9 final score, but the Patriots picked up the victory in Tuesday’s rematch in Rochelle.

After falling behind 1-0 to the visitors during the first inning of Tuesday’s game, the Patriots scored six runs in the bottom of the second frame to take control of the contest.

Brock White drew a walk for Wilcox to begin the bottom half of the second, and Desmond Tisdol followed up with a base hit to left. Lagan Luke subsequently drove in the first Patriot run of the game with an RBI single that scored White.

Bo Keene followed up by reaching base after being hit by a pitch, and Cameron Patterson pushed the next run across on an RBI walk to give Wilcox a 2-1 lead.

Later on in the inning, Rhett Davis hit a two-run double to left field for a 4-1 Patriot advantage. Branson Owens and Clark Gaines both added RBIs before the end of the frame to give Wilcox the 6-1 lead.

Lanier cut into the Wilcox lead in the third inning with a pair of runs on a solo home run from Roshad Brockington, followed by a pair of base hits, but the Bulldogs were unable to bring the score any closer than 6-3 from there, as the Patriots piled on seven runs to their lead over their next three offensive frames.

Wilcox picked up one run during the bottom of the third inning on an RBI single from Patterson that scored Luke. The Patriots then tacked on another in the bottom half of the fourth when White had an RBI hit that scored Owens for an 8-3 lead.

Wilcox then put the game away for a run-rule victory using a five run bottom half of the fifth inning for a 13-3 final score line.

Luke, Keene, and Patterson all reached to load up the bases to start out the fifth frame. Davis, Cameron Coleman, and Owens all kept the line moving shortly after with RBI hits that brought the lead out to 12-3. Gaines later walked to load up the bases once again, and White subsequently pushed across the game-ending run with an RBI walk.

Gaines pitched all five innings for the Patriots to get the win after allowing just three runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out three Lanier batters.

Wilcox County batting lineup stats from the win over Lanier:

1. Davis- two hits, four RBIs, and two runs scored

2. Coleman- three hits, one walk, one stolen base, one RBI and one run scored

3. Owens- one hit, one walk, two stolen bases, two RBIs, and one run

4. Gaines- one walk and one sacrifice fly RBI

5. White- one hit, two walks, two RBIs, and one run scored

6. Tisdol- two hits and one run

7. Luke- two hits, one RBI, and three runs

8. Keene- hit by pitch twice and scored two runs

9. Patterson- two hits, one walk, two RBIs, and two runs scored

Patriots 10, Clinch County 9

The first inning of Wednesday’s Wilcox versus Clinch matchup in Homerville was scoreless, but both teams got the scoring started in the second and kept up the offense for the entire contest.

Wilcox scored the game’s first run in the top half of the second inning when Patterson hit a two-out RBI single that scored Tisdol.

After Clinch tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom half of the second, the Patriots responded with four runs in the top of the third. Luke, White, and Davis each recorded RBIs during the third frame to help the Patriots grab a 5-1 lead heading into the fourth inning.

Owens then led off the top half of the fourth with a home run to put Wilcox ahead 6-1.

The Panthers fought their way back into the contest with a three-run bottom half of the fourth on a solo home run from Kyle Hendricks along with two other hits.

The Patriots held a 6-4 lead after four innings played, and they subsequently added three more runs to their total in the top of the fifth.

Wilcox got their first run of the fifth frame when a sacrifice bunt attempt from Coleman led to a Clinch County error that allowed Patterson to score. The other two Patriot runs during the frame were scored when White hit a two-run single to left field that sent Davis and Coleman to home plate.

The Patriots led 9-4 going into the bottom of the fifth, but the Panthers fought their way back once more to force an extra frame by scoring one run in the bottom of the fifth, followed by four in the bottom of the seventh. The teams entered the eighth inning tied at 9-9.

In the top of the eighth inning, Luke and Keene were each hit by a pitch to give Wilcox two base runners on with no outs. Luke scored the go-ahead run later on in the inning on a passed ball, giving the Patriots a lead of 10-9 going into the bottom half of the frame.

Patterson closed out the Wilcox victory from there by recording the final three outs of the game during the bottom of the eighth. He earned the win in the contest after pitching an inning and one-third. Davis and Owens also contributed on the mound for Wilcox during the win.

Patriot batting lineup stats from the win over Clinch:

1. Davis- one hit, one hit by pitch, one RBI, and one run scored

2. Coleman- one walk, one RBI, and one run

3. Owens- one hit (HR), one walk, one stolen base, and two runs scored

4. Gaines- one walk and one run scored

5. White- two hits, one walk, and three RBIs

6. Tisdol- one hit, one HBP, one stolen base, and two runs scored

7. Luke- two hits, one HBP, two RBIs, and two runs scored

8. Keene- one walk, two HBPs

9. Patterson- three hits, one RBI, and one run

The two wins this week put Wilcox at 6-9 overall on the season with a 5-8 mark in region play. As of Thursday night’s results from around GHSA baseball, the Patriots were tied for the 23rd spot in the playoff power rankings. The top 24 ranked teams make the playoffs in class A at the conclusion of the regular season.

Wilcox is scheduled for four games next week. The busy stretch starts Monday with a game at ACE Charter in Macon starting at 5 p.m. The Patriots will then play Atkinson County on Tuesday night in Rochelle at 6 p.m., before traveling to play Pelham on Thursday for a game at 5:30, and then to Turner County for contest on Friday at 5.