Crowley RBI lifts Central past 3A Lee County in eight

Posted 3/20/20

BEAR CREEK — Parker Crowley’s sacrifice fly with one away in the bottom of the eighth brought in Riley Lagenor with the deciding run as Chatham Central staged a late-game rally — without the …

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Crowley RBI lifts Central past 3A Lee County in eight

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BEAR CREEK — Parker Crowley’s sacrifice fly with one away in the bottom of the eighth brought in Riley Lagenor with the deciding run as Chatham Central staged a late-game rally — without the benefit of a hit — to register a 6-5 extra-inning victory over Lee County last Wednesday night in non-conference diamond action on Ronald Scott Field.

The triumph gave the Bears their first win in three outings this season, while the Yellow Jackets fell to 2-2 overall.

With the teams knotted at 5-all entering the home eighth, Riley Lagenor coaxed a one-out, full-count walk before racing to third when Collin Lagenor reached on an infield throwing error.

After Michael Moore was issued an intentional free pass to load the bases, Crowley lofted a 1-2 offering from losing pitcher Carson Hailey to left field, where Lee County outfielder Nolan Brown made the catch as Lagenor tagged up at third and dashed home ahead of the throw to the plate to account for the winning score.

Moore, Chatham Central’s third pitcher of the evening, threw two-thirds of an inning and struck out one to receive credit for the win.

Bears starter Riley Lagenor went five and one-third innings on the mound, giving up four hits and five runs (one earned) while walking two and fanning three. Chatham Central reliever Micah Gurley tossed two scoreless frames, yielding one hit besides issuing four free passes and whiffing three.

Hailey, who relieved Yellow Jackets’ starter Ryan Jones in the second, took the loss after hurling six innings, surrendering one hit and an unearned run in addition to walking five (one intentional) and striking out five. Jones lasted just one and one-third innings and was shelled for nine hits along with five earned runs besides walking one and whiffing one.

Crowley led the Bears’ 10-hit offensive assault with three hits and tallied once while driving in a pair of runs. Brady Cunnup contributed two hits, scored once and drove in a run, while Holden Johnson, Moore, Jackson Gray and both Lagenors all recorded one hit each.

Jones and Eli Garrison notched two hits apiece to pace Lee County’s five-hit attack.

“After striking out 28 times in our first two games we worked on hitting backside in practice yesterday, and it paid off tonight along with our ability to get bunts down,” said Chatham Central coach Brett Walden. “A couple of early mistakes cost us runs but these guys didn’t quit battling. Riley was fantastic on the mound, as I was looking to get around 45 pitches from him this evening but instead he gave me 77 before starting to tire. We used all 12 players tonight and found a way to beat a good Lee County team.”

Yellow Jackets’ coach Jevon Wade commented the early-season non-conference game gave him an opportunity to use a lot of players to see what they had to offer.

“Our starting pitcher hadn’t thrown at all this season and Hailey had only pitched one inning last year but did an outstanding job in relief,” he said. “I thought at times we were too aggressive at the plate and tried to pull the ball too much instead of driving it up the middle, and we can’t wait until the later innings to get something going offensively.”

The Bears jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the bottom of the first as Riley Lagenor poked a leadoff single to left and was sacrificed to second by Collin Lagenor.

One out later Crowley’s base hit to center drove in Riley Lagenor before Chatham Central loaded the bases on Cunnup’s single to right and Gray’ infield hit prior to Johnson delivering the first two runners with a single up the gap in left-center.

Lee County answered with two unearned runs in the top of the second when Jones and Garrison opened the frame with back-to-back base hits to center before Brown sacrificed both runners up a base prior to the pair coming in to score on a two-out infield throwing error.

But the Bears responded with two runs in their portion of the second to increase their lead to 5-2. Hunter Strickland drew a leadoff free pass before advancing to third on a pair of wild pitches. After Collin Lagenor reached on an infield hit as Strickland had to hold up at third, Moore punched an opposite-field single to right to score Strickland, and following Crowley’s base hit to right that filled the sacks, Cunnup’s opposite-field single to left plated Collin Lagenor.

The Yellow Jackets picked up a solo run in the visitors’ fourth as Jones and Garrison slapped back-to-back leadoff singles prior to moving up a base on a passed ball. One out later Cameron Cabe grounded out third-to-first, and when Garrison became trapped in a rundown between second and third, Jones alertly sped home before Garrison was eventually tagged out.

Lee County managed to pull even in the top of the sixth as leadoff batter Will Patterson reached on an infield miscue and went to second when Jones drew a one-out walk.

After Gurley replaced Riley Lagenor on the hill, both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch prior to consecutive free passes issued to Garrison and Brown that forced in Patterson while keeping the bases loaded, and one out later Clay Beal’s base hit to left drove in Jones with the tying run.


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