Americus-Sumter Baseball Team gets pounded by Syrupmakers

Published 4:30 am Friday, March 16, 2018

By Staff Reports


CAIRO – The Cairo Syrupmakers scored two runs in the second, four in the third and five in the sixth to hand Americus-Sumter a lopsided 11-1 region loss on Thursday, March 15, at Cairo High School.

The Syrupmakers scored 11 runs on 11 hits and took advantage of three Panther errors to claim victory. The Panthers scored one run on four hits.

Benji Prince did most of the damage for Cairo, going 2 for 3 at the plate and driving in four RBIs. The Panthers were only able to muster four hits on the day. Christian Mable, Timothy Ethridge and Devin Hudson each went 1 for 3 at the plate. Braelin Williams went 1 for 2 and scored the lone run for the Panthers.

Neither team scored a run in the first inning, but the trouble for the Panthers began in the bottom of the second. Cairo’s Blake Touchton led off the bottom of the second with a walk off ASH starter Timothy Ethridge. Then Garrett Gainous reached on an error by shortstop Kierston Harvey. Gainous reached second on the error, and Touchton advanced to third. After Ethridge struck out Ethan Godwin, Dawson Humphries hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Touchton to give the Syrupmakers a 1-0 lead. With two outs and a man on second, Gainous stole third base and then scored on an error by ASH third baseman Terrence Rush. Conor Johnson grounded out to Harvey to end the inning, but Cairo had a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the third, the Syrupmakers scored four more runs. Hayes Stills led off the inning with a single. Then McDugle drew a walk, but Stills was thrown out at second base as he tried to steal by catcher Brandon Alford. With a runner at first with one out, D.J. Collins singled, advancing McDugle to second. Ethridge was called for a balk, which advanced the runners to second and third. Benji Prince then came to the plate and promptly belted a three-run homer to give Cairo a 5-0 lead.

At that point, Ethridge was relieved by Kierston Harvey, who left shortstop to come and pitch. Harvey was able to get Blake Touchton to hit a pop up for the second out. However, the next batter, Garrett Gainous, tripled to left field. Ethan Godwin then hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Gainous and increasing the Syrupmakers’ lead to 6-0. Dawson Humphreys grounded to short to end the inning, but more damage had been done to the Panthers.

Americus-Sumter got their first run of the game in the top of the fourth. With two outs in the inning, Braelin Williams singled. Then both Brandon Alford and Terrence Rush drew walks. Cameron Hollis hit a ground ball to shortstop Hayes Stills, who booted it, allowing Williams to score. However, that would be all the offense the Panthers could muster.

The Syrupmakers scored five more runs on three hits in the bottom of the fifth to put the game out of reach. They were able to take advantage of a hit batsman, a passed ball, two walks and an error.

Timothy Ethridge, the starting pitcher for Americus-Sumter, worked 2.1 innings. He gave up eight runs on seven hits. He struck out one, walked four and gave up a home run. Kierston Harvey, who relieved Ethridge, also worked 2.1 innings. Harvey gave up three runs on four hits. He struck out two and walked two.

Cairo starter D.J. Collins worked five innings. He gave up one run on four hits, struck out five and walked two.

The Panthers will try to rebound from the loss at Cairo when they travel to Albany on Tuesday, March 20, to take on another Region 1-AAAA opponent: the Westover Patriots. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.