Grangers get key region win

Published 1:18 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Daily News

It wasn’t a must-win, but it was nonetheless a critical game for the LaGrange Grangers as they look to chase down a playoff spot.

Facing visiting Central-Carroll on a cool and occasionally drizzly Tuesday afternoon, LaGrange scored three runs in the first inning on the way to a 4-1 victory.

LaGrange, which was coming off a loss to Troup on Friday, improved to 2-1 in the region.

LaGrange and Central-Carroll figure to be two of the teams fighting for one of the region’s four playoff spots, which made Tuesday’s game so important.

Central struck first with a run in the top of the first, but LaGrange answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning, and it held the lead the rest of the way.

“They came out and scored, and we responded with three runs,” LaGrange head coach David Smart said. “That was big.”

With John Morgan on the mound, the Grangers figured to be in good shape with a 3-1 lead.

Morgan has been lights out this season, and he had already pitched two complete-game shutouts in 1-0 wins over Columbus and Cedartown.

Morgan was dominant again on Tuesday, limiting Central-Carroll to two hits and one unearned run.

Morgan was backed up by some terrific defense.

Center fielder Cole Freeman provided a few of the defensive highlights with some outstanding plays, including one where he had to leave his feet and make a diving catch.

Freeman also made a catch right in front of the center-field fence with two men on in the top of the fourth inning.

“I can’t count the number of balls they hit hard into the outfield,” Smart said. “(Freeman) makes that catch against the wall, and he makes a diving catch in the gap. And there were three or four other ones hard at people.”

After the Lions took the early lead, the Grangers came right back with three runs in their first at-bat.

Charles Crawford led off with a triple, Morgan was hit by a pitch, and Cole Freeman tied it with a sacrifice fly.

Seth Prather’s double put men on first and third, and Trent Bailey gave the Grangers the lead with an RBI single.

Prather scored the inning’s final run on a balk, and the Grangers led by two.

It remained a 3-1 game until the bottom of the sixth when the Grangers added an insurance run.

Bailey got it started with a double, and courtesy runner Cole Crawford moved to third on a Will Flowers groundout.

Wesley Kuhn followed with an RBI groundout to bring Crawford in with the Grangers’ fourth and final run.

Morgan set the Lions down in order in the top of the seventh to end it.

Kuhn and Bailey each had two hits for the Grangers, and Charles Craford, Freeman and Prather had one hit apiece.

LaGrange will visit Cartersville on Thursday before hosting Sandy Creek on Friday.

Also on Tuesday, the Lafayette Christian School Cougars lost to Arlington Christian 7-5.

Cason Firth had three hits and two RBIs for the Cougars.

OF NOTE: For more photos, check out And for more on Lafayette Christian’s game, see Thursday’s sports section.