Notches 12 strikeouts against rival Vikings
By CHRIS WHITE
The Brookstone baseball team used a big fourth inning and a 12-strikeout gem from Joey Lewis on Friday to snap a four-game losing streak a with a 9-0 win at its biggest rival, Pacelli.
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Lewis (3-1), a Tennessee commitment, allowed two hits -- both to Justin Gaus -- while walking one and striking out a dozen to earn the complete-game shutout.
“I just started off throwing my fastball, and later in the game I tried to throw more breaking pitches, and that’s what got a lot of them striking out,” Lewis said. “Me and my coach had that planned for the game, and it worked pretty well.”
The Cougars (6-7, 6-2 Region 4-A) had dropped consecutive games to LaGrange, Hawkinsville, Smiths Station and Schley County heading into Friday’s game at Pacelli (5-7, 5-4) but left feeling relieved, coach Vince Massey said.
“It’s a good feeling to bounce back today and get a fresh start,” Massey said. “Hopefully we’ll respond to this because we’ve got another quality opponent in Providence Christian coming in (today).”
Brookstone led 2-0 on a second-inning RBI double from Tyler Jordan and a third-inning Cannon Jerrell fielder’s choice RBI, but it wasn’t until the top of the fourth inning that the Cougars took control.
Brookstone’s leadoff hitter, outfielder Tim Kennedy, was 3-for-5 at the plate and had his one run and two RBIs in a four-hit, five-run top of the inning. And it was in the fourth that the Cougars chased starter Wil Wells (1-1), who would later leave with a shoulder injury, and effectively put the game out of reach.
“It was definitely a big inning for us,” Kennedy said. “It kind of shut them out of it after that. We just kind of came to life.”
Brookstone’s Austin Pair moved to first when he was hit by a pitch to start the fourth, and teammate Duncan Fletcher put runners at first and second when he successfully reached base on a bunt.
Keith Pridgen sent a single to center field to carry in Pair’s pinch runner, Mark McVay, and Wells was taken out after allowing four hits and three runs while walking one and hitting three of the 19 batters he faced.
Kennedy sent a two-RBI single to center field against reliever Brice Morpeth on the Cougars’ next at-bat, and Lewis batted in Kennedy two at-bats later to put his team ahead 6-0 before the Vikings had recorded an out. Jarrell hit into a fielder’s choice to bring in Drew Lingo, who reached on walk, and Morpeth eventually struck out Fletcher to end the inning with the bases loaded.
Once Brookstone’s lead grew, Lewis settled in and began switching up his pitches, leading to eight strikeouts in the final four innings.
“The biggest factor for is we were making young mistakes,” Pacelli coach Ken Miller said. “We were ahead on a few guys and weren’t thinking, they’re still trying to figure out their two-strike approach and what to do instead of swinging for the fences. It’s just stuff we’ll get with experience.”
Fletcher singled to right field in the top of the sixth inning to bring in Jordan and Jarrell to account for the final score.
Chris White, 706-571-8571; follow Chris online at twitter.com/le_chriswhite and at facebook.com/lechriswhite.
@z-BR Agate Bold Centered:Friday at Pacelli
@z-bb-exp-innings:Brookstone 011 502 0 --9 11 1
Pacellii 000 000 0 --0 2 3
WP-- Joey Lewis (3-1). LP-- Wil Wells (1-1). Hitting leaders-- Brookstone: Tim Kennedy 3-5, R, 2 RBI; Cannon Jarrell 2-2, 2 R, 2 RBI; Tyler Jordan 2-3, R, RBI, 2 2B; Duncan Fletcher 2-4, R, 2 RBI. Pacelli: Justin Gaus 2-2. Records-- Brookstone 6-7, 6-2 Region 4-A; Pacelli 5-7, 5-4. Next-- Brookstone vs. Providence Christian, 12 p.m. today; Pacelli at Schley County, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.