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Winning day for Grangers

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

They needed that one.

After dropping seven consecutive games, all on their home field, the LaGrange Grangers got a complete-game performance from Jake Cardwell on the way to a 7-1 victory over visiting Griffin on Saturday.

LaGrange (4-10) has three games this week before opening Region 5-AAAA play on March 18 against Cartersville.

“I think going into region, you have to have a couple of wins under your belt, and you have to have confidence in yourself,” said Cole Sanders, who had a key RBI hit during Saturday’s game. “So this is one of those games that allowed us to get our confidence, and get our bats going, and put some things together.”

While the Grangers had one of their best offensive games of the season, they also got their first complete game of the spring.

Cardwell was sharp, needing 97 pitches to get through seven innings, and he held the Bears to six hits and a pair of walks while striking out four batters.

“I was going to let him go as long as I felt his pitch count was pretty good,” LaGrange head coach Donnie Branch said. “And he kept it low. I had two guys loose starting in the fifth inning, but he was kind of in command. I told him as long as you’re throwing strikes I can stick with you.”

Cardwell kept pumping in strikes, and he was backed up by a defense that was solid.

Offensively, Mason Green got the job done from the number two spot in the order.

Green, LaGrange’s shortstop, had three hits and three runs scored.

Leadoff hitter Will Alford had a hit, a walk, and two runs scored, and Sanders and Trent Bailey had RBI singles.

Matthew Morgan came off the bench and had a base hit, Walton Lanier had a hit, and Cole Crawford and Wesley Kuhn each had RBIs.

The Bears scored the game’s first run in the top of the first inning, and the Grangers took the lead with a pair of runs in the third inning.

LaGrange added two more runs in the fifth inning, and it capped the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.

The Grangers struggled with men in scoring position during their losing streak, but they had some clutch hits in Saturday’s win.

“It was huge, those at-bats that we put together, and getting guys in,” Sanders said. “It’s 100 percent a mental thing. We know we can get on base. It’s all in the mind when we get up there with runners on.”

LaGrange was supposed to play at Spalding County on Monday, but the game was postponed because of rain.

LaGrange visits Upson-Lee on Wednesday before hosting Spalding County on Thursday.

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