Pitchers shine for Grangers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
In their final games before the start of Region 5-AAAA play, the LaGrange Grangers split a doubleheader with visiting Spalding County on Thursday.
For LaGrange, a common theme in both games was the exceptional performance of the pitchers.
In the first game, Matthew Morgan and Landon Tucker combined for a four-hitter in a 4-2 victory.
In game two, Charles Crawford and Jake Cardwell gave up three hits between them, but Spalding’s Draylin Holmes tossed a one-hitter to lead his team to a 1-0 victory.
LaGrange (6-11) will begin region play next week against Cartersville.
LaGrange will host Tuesday’s game, and Cartersville will be at home for Thursday’s game.
In Thursday’s first game, Morgan was dealing.
The sophomore threw six dominant innings, limiting Griffin to three hits and one earned run.
Morgan, who had 11 strikeouts, held Griffin scoreless over his final five innings on the mound.
Another sophomore, Landon Tucker, finished things off with a scoreless seventh inning to secure the save.
“Matthew, he wasn’t sharp at the beginning, and he got better and better, and then he got to his pitch count, and Landon was just money in the seventh,” LaGrange head coach Donnie Branch said. “That’s two 10th-graders who are getting unbelievable experience, and we’re counting on those guys.”
After Griffin jumped on top with two runs in the first inning, LaGrange tied it with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second.
After Crawford and Cole Sanders walked, Walt Lanier came through with an RBI single to get the Grangers on the board.
Brant Williams loaded the bases with a bunt single, and Will Alford drove in a run the hard way when he was hit by a pitch.
LaGrange took the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Sanders and Lanier got things started with back-to-back hits, and Mason Green’s two-out RBI single gave the Grangers the lead.
Lanier had two of the Grangers’ five hits, and Green, Sanders and Williams also had hits.
Sanders also walked, and he scored two runs.
In the second game, the Grangers couldn’t get anything going against Draylin Holmes.
Green had LaGrange’s lone hit, and the four walks Holmes had didn’t hurt him.
Griffin scored the game’s lone run in the fourth inning, and that was enough.
Crawford, making his first appearance on the mound in a few weeks, was terrific.
In two innings, Crawford held Griffin to one hit and no runs, and he had three strikeouts.
Cardwell pitched the final four innings for LaGrange, and he was superb as well, holding Griffin to one run on two hits.
“In game two, Charles was outstanding, and Jake Cardwell is just dealing,” Branch said.