Grangers lose a tough one

Published 11:26 pm Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Daily News

CARTERSVILLE – The LaGrange Grangers were two outs away from a massive road win over the state’s second-ranked Class AAAA baseball team.

After Cole Crawford’s RBI single in the top of the seventh inning, the Grangers had a 1-0 lead over the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes in a game that featured exceptional pitching for both teams.

Matthew Morgan returned to the mound in the bottom of the seventh hoping to shut the Purple Hurricanes down one more time.

After Josh Davis led off with the bottom of the seventh with a walk, he moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Cohen Wilbanks.

That brought senior Preston

Welchel to the plate, and he delivered a dagger to LaGrange’s hopes with a two-run, walk-off home run to lift his team to a 2-1 victory in the Region 5-AAAA thriller.

It was, despite the way the game ended, a masterful performance by Morgan, a sophomore who has stepped up to become one of the most reliable members of the pitching staff.

Morgan gave up six hits and five walks, but he was a magician for most of the game, finding ways to get out of trouble without any runs scoring.

Cartersville’s Mason Barnett was brilliant as well.

The senior limited the Grangers to three hits, and he had 13 strikeouts.

LaGrange did get to Barnett for a run in the seventh inning.

Trent Bailey got things started with a sharply-hit single to right field, and courtesy runner Darren Leonard moved to second on a wild pitch.

After Charles Crawford walked, Cole Crawford came through with an RBI single to center field to give LaGrange the lead.

Unfortunately for the Grangers, that lead was short-lived, with the Purple Hurricanes finding some late-game magic to escape with the win.

LaGrange, which lost to Cartersville at home on Monday, fell to 0-2 in the region, and it will host Chapel Hill on Friday.