The LaGrange Grangers unleashed some frustration, and got a big win in the process.
Heading into Friday’s home game against Alexander, the Grangers had lost four straight games, all against Region 5-AAAA opponents.
A little more than a week ago they were tied for first place in the region, but four straight losses dropped them to fifth.
The Grangers desperately needed a win, and they got it in a big way.
Jake Farrar and Chas Pardue each hit home runs, and the Grangers enjoyed a huge offensive day en route to a 14-7 victory over the Cougars.
The Grangers moved back to 5-5 in the region, and they’re firmly in the playoff picture with four region games remaining.
“We really needed that,” LaGrange coach Todd Herrington said. “Some guys who had been struggling at the plate came through. I was proud of them.”
The Grangers had to fight from behind.
They were down 4-0 when they pushed four runs across in the bottom of the third inning to tie it.
Farrar and Logan Hood got things started with back-to-back singles, and after a Ben Anderson groundout, a Wynton Heard double brought in two runs to make it 4-2.
Pardue then stepped to the plate and launched the ball over the right-field fence to tie it at 4-4.
Later in the inning, Hakeem Stargell’s base hit brought in a run, and the Grangers were up 5-4.
Alexander reclaimed the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, and the Grangers tied it in their half of the inning.
Anderson reached on a single, he stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk, and it was 6-6.
LaGrange took the lead, this time for good, with three runs in the fifth inning.
Jackson Shelnutt and Stargell both walked, and Farrar came to the plate with two on and two outs.
The left-handed Farrar got a pitch to his liking, and he drove it over the fence in right field, and LaGrange led 9-6.
Alexander scored an unearned run in the top of the sixth, and it was a two-run game.
Needing some insurance to feel comfortable, the Grangers got it with five runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Anderson and Pardue base hits sandwiched around a Heard walk loaded the bases, and with one out, Shelnutt’s infield single brought in a run to make it 10-7.
Logan Moody followed with a two-run double to push the lead to 12-7, and a single by Farrar made it a 13-7 game.
Moody scored on a wild pitch to cap the five-run outburst.
Jake Howard, who pitched three innings in relief of Farrar to get the win, set Alexander down in order in the top of the seventh to end it.
“It is nice to celebrate, especially after we’ve lost four tough ones,” Garner said. “The guys needed that boost.”