LMS Tigers blank Whitthorne
Last week, the Lewisburg Middle School Tigers uncharacteristically lost two out of three games by being outscored 17-9.
Following a huge 9-8 extra inning win over intra-county rival Forrest, the Tigers appear to be back on track with a 10-0 win over Witthorne on Monday and a convincing 9-3 victory the next evening over the same opponent.
"Pitching was solid, like it has been all year, third-year LMS coach Beau Hardison pointed out. ďAlso, they have a lot of confidence right now. I think the Forrest game really got us going."
Carson Cheek dominated Witthorne on the mound on Monday, giving up just one hit and striking out 10 batters in just four innings.
Hardison used a different approach on Tuesday, starting Bryson Hammons, but he also utilized Grayson Miller, Brendan Jacobs, and Tristan Griggs in the total team win.
Hammons led the team with four strikeouts, Griggs chipped in three, and Jacobs contributed eight first pitch strikes in two innings of work.
Hammons also led the squad with two hits, Griggs added two RBIs, and Trey Warner finished with a game-high four quality at-bats that included two walks.
Despite scoring nine runs, the damage could have been much worse, but the Tigers ended both the fourth and fifth innings with bases loaded.
"That was disappointing," Hardison admitted. "We scored nine runs, but left at least that many more out there."
"We've done a better job cutting down on our strikeouts and putting the ball in play," Hardison added. "Now we have to do a better job getting them in."
The Tigers put the game away in the fourth inning after James Hery walked and stole second and third base before coming home on a Griggs sacrifice fly RBI deep in left field.
The lead ballooned to 7-1 after Hammons nailed a shot down the third base line that reached the left field fence, allowing Hammons to cover all four bags for a 7-1 lead.
LMS scored one more run in the fifth after Griggs was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Cheek brought in the final run of the game with an RBI grounder to second base.
The Tigers have outscored their opponents 28-11 over the last three games with a crucial two-game series against longtime rival Spring Hill looming with a double header on Monday at 4 and 6 p.m.
Lewisburg Middle holds an impressive 56-19 overall record during Hardison's three year tenure as head coach.
"I think they are starting to figure out that they don't have to hit a home run every time," Hardison mentioned. "Understanding the situation and just putting the ball in play to move runners around."
"Cut down the strikeouts and pop-ups and good things will happen and that's what they're starting to do," Hardison reiterated. "We just keep working every day."
Witthorne 000 101 1-3 7 6
LMS 113 211 X-9 6 3
LMS: Bryson Hammons 2-for-3, Trey Warner 1-for-3, Grayson Miller 1-for-2, Carson Cheek 1-for-3, Brennan Peete 1-for-2.
RS: James Hery 2, Miller 2, Warner, Hammons, John Morgan Thomas, Cova Rowland, Cheek.
BB: Warner 2, Hery, Hammons, Miller, Thomas Beech, Rowland, Kaden Allen, Cheek.
2B: Hammons, Warner.
RBI: Griggs 2, Cheek, Peete.
ROE: Cheek, Hery, Rowland.
FC: Hery 2, Allen, Thomas.
HBP: Griggs, Miller, Thomas.
SB: Miller 4, Hery 3, Beech, Cheek, Hammons, Rowland.
Team LOB: 11
E: Miller 2, Beech.
DP: Cheek, Miller.
WP: Tristan Griggs (2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 3K, 3BB), Bryson Hammons (2IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 4K, 1BB), Grayson Miller (1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1K, 0BB), Brendan Jacobs (1IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, 2K, 1BB).