Grace pitches Cobras to win in opener

BY BRADLEY CROW

Wesson 6, North PikE

Senior right hander and Co-Lin signee Jonathan Grace (1-0) struck out eleven and allowed one earned run in his season debut to power the Wesson Cobras (1-2) to a 6-1 season opening victory over the North Pike Jaguars.

Grace also contributed at the plate smacking a home run and a double while driving in three runs.  Freshman third baseman Brandon Allen drilled a double while sophomore shortstop Caleb Broome and centerfielder Alan Stegall singled.

The five hit effort was not spectacular, but behind solid pitching and fielding the young Cobras were able to pull out the first home game of the season.  Dustin Miller took the loss for North Pike.

Richland 2, Wesson 1

The Wesson Cobras got a 6 inning feast from Grace (1-1) on the mound only to watch it melt away in the 7th inning when Grace hit a batter and walked two to set the stage for Richland Ranger Josh Wages to slam a 2 RBI double to right field and escape the Cobras 2-1.

Compounding the loss was the fact that Grace was hurling a no hitter up until the double that doomed his spectacular effort.  The Cobras didn’t get much support from the batter’s box as the only RBI came from right fielder Sid Cawthorn who drove in freshman second baseman Matt P. Smith on a double.  Smith had reached third after his own single and a Langston Berry hit.

The 6th inning proved costly for the Cobras as well when a bookkeeping error forced a Kyle Cross run off the board following another Matt P. Smith single.  This error cost the Cobras a valuable run as the future would soon point out.

The Cobras left 8 stranded on the day.  Outfielder Chris Fink and Smith led the Cobras with two hits each.  Grace and Cawthorn doubled while Berry singled.

Florence 7, Wesson 5

The Wesson Cobras committed eight errors and gift wrapped a victory for the Florence Eagles by dropping a 7-5 decision to the Eagles.

A gutty pitching performance by Broome (0-1) was upstaged by dismal play in the field where the Eagles would only earn one run that would be scored as an earned run.

On a positive note, the Cobra bats finally awoke after two games with the Cobras pounding out 10 hits in the finale of the double header.  The charge was led by Allen as he smashed a three run home run in the 5th inning to tie the game 4-4.  Catcher Kyle Chrestman smashed a double and single while Cawthorn and Matt P. Smith both singled twice.

“It was a tale of two games,” stated Knight.  “We don’t hit in the first game and lose and then we hit in the second game but kick the ball around making mistakes.  We have to get more consistent.”

The Cobras head to North Pike Friday evening at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. with the JV playing first, then travel to Lawrence County Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

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