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LaGrange splits doubleheader

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

After dropping the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Calvary Christian, the LaGrange Grangers bounced back in a big way in game two.

Calvary Christian scored three first-inning runs in the first game, and it went on to capture a 4-1 victory.

The second game was all LaGrange, which banged out 11 hits on the way to the 9-1 win.

Matthew Morgan, one of LaGrange’s top returning pitchers, started and threw six outstanding innings in game two.

Morgan held Calvary Christian to four hits and one run while striking out four.

Landon Tucker pitched a dominant seventh inning, giving up no hits with two strikeouts.

“Matthew was really good in the second game,” said LaGrange head coach Donnie Branch. “He did what we expect him to do, and then we turned a couple of double plays. We just had a little bit better mindset in game two.”

LaGrange did plenty of offensive damage as well in game two.

Charles Crawford had three of the Grangers’ 11 hits, and he scored three runs.

Morgan helped himself with two hits, including a double, and he drove in three runs.

Walton Lanier had a hit and two RBIs, Mason Green and Will Alford each had a hit and an RBI, and Kevin Neighbors had a hit.

“Game two, that guy was throwing good, but I thought we did a lot better job (offensively),” Branch said. “I thought our mindset was a whole lot better going into the second game. I was very proud how we responded after a not so great first game.”

In the first game, Jake Cardwell overcame a slow start to pitch six solid innings, holding Calvary Christian to seven hits and two earned runs while striking out five.

Logan Karcher got the job done with a scoreless seventh inning.

Calvary Christian scored three runs in the first inning and one in the second, and that was enough thanks to the performance of Matthew Pearce, who threw the seven-inning complete game.

“To their credit, we made a couple of mistakes, and they made us pay,” Branch said. “They hit two or three balls hard, and we made a couple of mistakes defensively. They jumped on us. Once that happened we settled in, and Jake did a great job, which I was very proud of him for bouncing back from adversity. We had some chances where we just couldn’t get the big hit. Their pitcher was good. He was 83 to 85 mph with a good curveball.”

After opening the season with three blowout wins, LaGrange was handed its first loss on Saturday, and Branch figures that’ll serve as a lesson to the players.

“The kids were feeling pretty good about themselves after they played so well last week,” Branch said. “It was probably good for us that our kids learned a lesson of, if we’re not on top of our game, we can lose. And if we play well, we have a chance against anybody. We can’t just throw our hat out there.”