Southland Academy Raiders fall to Crisp County in pitchers’ dual

Published 11:34 pm Monday, February 25, 2019

CORDELE – The Southland Academy Raider baseball team got a strong outing from starting pitcher Ross Minick. However, the Crisp County Cougars scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead. That would be enough to hand the Raiders a 3-2 road loss on Friday, February 22, at Crisp County High School.

The Cougars scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. With runners at first and second and two out, the Cougars’ Toby Stripling advanced on a wild pitch, then scored on an error by SA catcher George Wall.

The Raiders responded with two runs in the top of the fourth. CC starting pitcher Connor Richmond walked the first four batters he faced. The fourth walk resulted in Tyler Kennedy scoring the Raiders’ tying run. After Minick flew out on an infield fly, the Cougars made a pitching change as they brought in relief pitcher Jordan Grinnell.

Freddie Updike scored on a fielder’s choice to give SA a 2-1 lead.

However, the Cougars countered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Minick hit the CC leadoff batter Bailey Barfield, but struck out Nick Lanneau for the first out. Jackson Napier had bunted into a fielder’s choice, allowing Barfield to advance to third. Barfield then scored on an error by Minick. The Cougars got what eventually would be the winning run on a wild pitch.

The Raiders had a chance to tie and take the lead in the top of the fifth. After Nathan Duke drew a walk, Tyler Kennedy singled to put runners on first and second with no outs. Updike struck out swinging against CC’s new relief pitcher Noah Walters. Both SA courtesy runner Clay Owens and Kennedy both moved up to third and second respectively on an error by the Cougars. The Raiders had two runners in scoring position with one out.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, both Freddie Updike and Hunter McCain struck out to end their threat.

The Raiders were able to hold the Cougars’ offense in check for the rest of the game, but SA was unable to come from behind and lost 3-2 to CC.

Both teams had their problems in the field. The Raiders committed four errors and the Cougars committed three.

Minick pitched four strong innings for the Raiders. He gave up one run on three hits. He walked two and struck out four batters. Hunter McCain came on in relief for Minick and also pitched well. McCain struck out four batters and walked two.

SA only got one hit in the game. That hit was by Kennedy. He went 1 for 2, scored a run and drew a walk.

Between Minick and McCain, the Cougars could only muster three runs on two hits. Walters and Stripling were the only CC players to gets hits off SA pitching.

Connor Richmond was the starter for CC. He pitched three innings, giving up two runs on no hits. He walked four and struck out four. Jordan Grinnell came on in relief for Richmond. Grinnell pitch a little over an inning. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out one. Walters came in to pitch the last two innings for the Cougars. He kept the SA hitters off-balanced and struck out seven batters.

The Raiders will try to get a win on Tuesday, February 26, when they host Westfield. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.