Grangers get past Cavaliers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
LaGrange High’s Matthew Morgan had it all working.
Morgan not only made all the pitches during his team’s 6-2 victory over Callaway, but he also impressed his coach with his leadership ability.
During a key moment in the game, the Cavaliers scored two runs on an error in the bottom of the fifth inning, cutting the Grangers’ lead to 5-2.
The inning had the potential to go south quickly, but Morgan got a groundout to end the threat and keep the Grangers ahead by three.
What stood out to head coach Donnie Branch was the way Morgan took charge after the error to make sure everyone stayed focused.
“Matthew pitched really well,” Branch said. “Callaway has a good team, a good lineup, and I thought Matthew did a really good job. He made the pitch to get himself out of the inning, and we didn’t make the play. What he did after that was, he called the entire infield in, and he was calming them down instead of pouting. That was very impressive.”
Morgan ended up pitching five innings, and he held Callaway to three hits and no earned runs with eight strikeouts.
Charles Crawford pitched two scoreless innings to finish it, and he got out of trouble in the sixth inning when Callaway put two men on with no outs.
“Charles came in and did what he does,” Branch said. “He got in a jam, and he makes the pitches to get out of it.”
For Callaway, the LaGrange game came in the midst of a key Region 5-AA series against Bremen.
The teams played a single game on Tuesday, and they’ll play twice more on Friday at Callaway.
When deciding how to line up the pitching for Wednesday’s game, Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard had to keep Friday’s games in mind.
“This game is great to play. It’s fun, and it’s much better than practice,” Hubbard said. “But it’s not the biggest game of the week.”
Jimmy Dukes got the start, and the right-hander held LaGrange to one run through the first two innings before giving up four runs in the third.
Ayden Brooks got the final out of the third inning, and Justin Moore and Dawson Wright, the two likely starters on Friday, each pitched two innings.
Moore was sharp, holding LaGrange hitless with four strikeouts, and Wright allowed one run on one hit.
“I was proud of what Dukes was able to do,” Hubbard said. “He almost got us through three.”
Dukes, who also played outfield in the game, is working his way back to 100 percent after dealing with an injury earlier in the season.
“He missed the first two weeks. He’s really not back to where he needs to be,” Hubbard said. “We just have to get him into shape. He’s a really good defensive outfielder. He’s struggling hitting right now because he hasn’t done it much.”
Will Flowers led the LaGrange offensive effort with two hits and an RBI, and Mason Green and Walton Lanier each had a hit and two RBIs.
Charles Crawford had an RBI double, and Brant Williams and Will Alford each had a hit and a run scored.
For Callaway, C.J. Stephens had two hits from the top of the order, and Justin Moore, Kaden Rogers and Tucker Starling each had a hit.
Stephens and Moore scored Callaway’s runs on the error in the fifth inning.
LaGrange finishes the non-region portion of its schedule with a doubleheader at Spalding County on Thursday, with the first game starting at 4:30 p.m.
LaGrange begins its Region 5-AAAA schedule on Monday at Cartersville.
Callaway, which lost to Bremen 10-3 on Tuesday, will look for a bounce-back performance on Friday, with the doubleheader starting at 4:30 p.m.
OF NOTE: For more photos from Wednesday’s game, check out Facebook.com/LDNSports