Cockrell and Cook lead Grangers to win over rivals Troup

Published 9:38 pm Friday, April 14, 2023

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The LaGrange baseball took care of business on Friday, dominating rivals Troup 12-2 to edge that bit closer to claiming back-to-back region titles. It was a game that would last only five innings with the away team in complete command from the opening inning. 

The Grangers scored in every inning, including the first as they jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a Cole Garner sacrifice fly that drove in a run. LaGrange would double its lead in the top of the sixth when Trey Cook singled to drive in a run. Cook was his usual dominant self on the mound, pitching all five innings in which he only allowed six hits and two earned runs on five strikeouts. His only real blemish was when Josh McDonald hit a solo home run off of him in the bottom of the second to cut the Granger lead in half. 

The play left the Tiger dugout buzzing, but the Grangers would silence the home crowd quickly with eight runs in the top of the third to take complete command of the game. The Grangers had three batters hit by pitch or walk with the bases loaded to drive in the first three runs of the inning and give LaGrange a 5-1 lead. Seth Stargell drove in a run with a single before Gryson Cockrell drove in two with a single of his own. Cockrell was simply superb from the plate, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored, two stolen bases and two RBIs. The Grangers scored their final two runs of the inning on a costly error by the Tigers. 

It looked like the Tigers might get back into the game when they started out the bottom of the fourth with four straight singles, including one by Will Keeter that drove in a run to cut the Granger lead to 11-2. Cook slammed the door on any chance for a Troup rally by striking out a batter and then getting a double play from his defense. 

The Grangers added the all important 12th run in the top of the fifth inning when Cooper Stephens hit a RBI single. 

Troup could not pull off a late rally in the bottom of the fifth to extend the game.

Rob Skinner had an impressive showing offensively for the Grangers, going 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Robbie Parker also went 2-for-2 and scored a run as well. Cook, Garner, Stephens and Tanner Langley all had a hit apiece as the offense was spread around for LaGrange. 

Troup’s offense was led by Josh McDonald, who was 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored. Devon Murphy, Reed Morris, Will Keeter and Fisher Baltzell all had a hit each for the Tigers. 

The Tigers used a platoon of pitchers on the mound with Murphy getting the start and Tripp Cummings, Carson Spears and Caleb Allen all seeing time on the mound in relief. 

Troup fell to 17-10 on the season and 7-6 in region play. The Tigers will need to win in their season finale against LaGrange next Tuesday at Granger Park to keep their hopes of making the playoffs alive.

LaGrange is now 21-8 overall and 11-1 in region play. A win in its regular season finale with the Tigers will see the Grangers claim its second straight region championship.