LaGrange sweeps Burke County, earns spot in the round of 16
Published 10:06 pm Monday, April 24, 2023
The LaGrange baseball team earned a spot in the round of 16 of the AAAA state playoffs by sweeping aside Burke County in two games on Monday.
LaGrange had no trouble in the opening game, dominating 10-2 and putting some quality offense together early as the Grangers practically led wire-to-wire.
Gryson Cockrell got the party started in the bottom of the first when he hit a double to drive in Seth Stargell. The Grangers offense was steady all night and senior Trey Cook got in on the action with an RBI single in the bottom of the second.
The Bears halved the deficit in the top of the third but the Grangers quickly put together two runs in the bottom of the third to take a 4-1 lead. Cooper Stephens hit a sacrifice fly to bring home the first run of the inning followed by a Preston Pressley single later in the inning to bring home the second run. Pressley was the most consistent offensive player on the night, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Burke County cut the Granger lead to two runs in the top of the fourth but that would be the closest the Bears got to tying the game.
The Grangers added a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth with Rob Skinner driving in two runs with a single to extend the Granger lead to 6-2.
LaGrange killed any chance of a Bears rally with four runs in the sixth inning.
Cook pitched a complete game as he was in total control from the opening inning until his final pitch. He allowed just five hits and one earned run on two strikeouts.
Tanner Langley put together a quality offensive showing, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored in an RBI. Cockrell had two hits while Cook, Skinner, and Cole Garner all had a hit apiece.
Game two was more of the same with the Grangers coming out on top 14-1
The Grangers jumped out to an early lead in game two when Cooper Stephens sent a ball over the center field wall to give the home team a 1-0 lead. Garner doubled the Grangers lead by driving in Stargell in the top of the third. Garner had a special night, driving in two runs with a single in the top of the fifth to extend a one run lead out to three runs. Garner was 3-for-4 with four RBIs in the game.
The Bears were able to get a foothold in the game with a run in the bottom of the third but starting pitcher Trevor Booton slammed the door on the Burke County offense from there, pitching five innings, striking out seven and only allowing two hits. Kayden Sutton pitched the final inning allowing just one hit on two strikeouts.
LaGrange added two more runs in the top of the fifth inning before putting the game out of reach with 10 runs in the top of the sixth.
Stephens was an impressive 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Cockrell, Stargell, Langley, and Parker all had a hit in the game. Stargell also had three RBIs, three stolen bases and three runs scored.
LaGrange has now won eight games in a row and 16 of its last 17 games. The Grangers will host old region foe Shaw on Saturday for a doubleheader in the round of 16.