Errors and lack of clutch hitting prove costly to Wildcats against Lee County
Published 2:44 pm Sunday, March 5, 2023
LEESBURG – The Schley County High School Baseball Team (SCHS) traveled down to Leesburg, GA on Friday with hopes of extending its winning streak to five games with a victory over a traditionally strong Lee County team (LC). However, due to errors in the field and a lack of timely hitting, which was partly due to the solid pitching of LC starter Greyson Holley, the Wildcats fell to the Trojans 6-1 in a game in which SCHS out hit LC 8-5.
The loss snaps the Wildcats’ four-game winning streak and they are now 4-3 on the season. As for the Trojans, they improve to 9-2 with the victory.
“Their guy (Holley) did a good job on the mound and got ahead early,” SCHS Head Coach Chuck Cheek said. “He tried to get us to chase late and we did that some. We get pitches to hit early in the count, especially after the first couple of innings where we’ve seen him a few times, we should start being more aggressive with pitches that are in the zone. They (LC) are good. They had some big hits. Some of those runs were self-inflicted and that’s something we’ve been battling all year. We’ve been getting better. You can’t make physical and mental mistakes against a team the caliber of Lee. They’ve got great players and great coaches. We know all their coaches really well. It’s a great program down here. Playing teams like this is going to help us get better,” Cheek continued.
Carson Westbrook led off the game with a single and eventually reached third base thanks to a sacrifice bunt by Brody Fuller and Jack Clark reaching on an error. However, Clark was thrown out trying to steal second and Owen Lamb struck out to end the threat.
The Trojans responded with a run in the bottom of the first inning on two walks and a single by Durrah Butler. In the bottom of the second inning, LC added to its lead when Wilder Ethridge scored from second on a throwing error. However, the Wildcats finally got on the board in the top of the fourth inning by scoring a run on three hits. That run crossed the plate when Ashton Raybon drove in Lamb on an RBI double and the Wildcats were back in it, trailing 2-1.
SCHS starting pitcher Owen Lamb retired the Trojans in order in the bottom of the fourth, but LC scored three runs on four hits in the fifth inning. Both Josh Barnes and Gavin Brinkley doubled for the Trojans, with Barnes driving in an RBI. Brody Smith then drove in a run on a fielder’s choice and Carter Singletary drove in another run on a bunt single.
The Wildcats had opportunities to score with runners on base, but could not get the clutch hitting needed to mount a comeback. The Trojans would add an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Gavin Brinkley drove in Barnes on an RBI single to salt away LC’s 6-1 victory over the Wildcats.
Both Owen Lamb and Ashton Raybon went 2 for 3 at the plate for SCHS, with Lamb scoring a run and Raybon driving in an RBI. Trenton Stubbs, Brody Fuller, Brody Smith and Carson Westbrook each had a hit in this game for SCHS as well.
Lamb got the start on the hill for the Wildcats. In three inning of work, he gave up two runs on a hit, walked three and struck out one. Brody Smith came on in relief of Lamb and gave up three runs on two hits with a walk in two innings of work.
Gavin Brinkley led the Trojans’ offense by going 2 for 3 with a double, an RBI and scored a run.
In five innings of work, LC starting pitcher Greyson Holley gave up no runs on five hits and posted four strikeouts to help lead the Trojans to victory.
The Wildcats (4-3) will try to get themselves back into the win column when they host Deerfield-Windsor (2-5) on Tuesday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m.