FROM COURIER STAFF –
It’s finally baseball season at Copiah Academy, and the excitement is in the air. Head coach Stephen Cooksey starts his second season coaching the Colonels and hopes for a much better outcome, as his team finished the 2013 season with a 5-18 record.
“We have a young team this year. This is the first year I’ve coached a team without an eighteen-year-old on the team,” Cooksey mentioned.
The young team started off the year with a fill-in game against East Rankin last Friday. The original game scheduled for Hartfield Academy was moved due to the fact Hartfield was playing for a state championship in basketball. East Rankin filled in and took the challenge, only to lose to the Colonels, 6-5.
East Rankin would start off the first inning with one run to take the early lead. The score would remain 1-0 until the bottom of the third, where sophomore Weston Acey would hit a 2 RBI double, bringing home Zane Frazier from third and Colton Meadows from first. The Colonels would then add another run in the bottom of the fourth, where Ryan Drew would hit a RBI double, knocking in his younger brother, Kyle Drew. The Colonels now lead 3-1.
East Rankin wasn’t going away so fast. The Patriots put together a few hits in the top if the sixth to tie the game up at 3. The Colonels answered in a big way in the bottom of the sixth when freshman Colton Meadows hit a 2 run bomb to left center to regain the lead for the Colonels.
East Rankin gave it one last run to take the lead. The Patriots scored two more in the top of the seventh and tied the game at 5. In the bottom of the seventh, with bases loaded and two outs, Ryan Drew hit a walk-off single to right field, scoring Austin Ragland for the game winning run.
Ryan Drew led the Colonels with 3 hits and 2 RBIs. Colton Meadows, Austin Ragland, and Will Lingle all made their varsity debut, all recording their first high school hit. The Colonels pitched 5 different pitchers throughout the game, Cory Eckhoff, Weston Acey, Austin Ragland, Ryan Keith, and Zane Frazier all threw the Colonels into the first win.
When Coach Cooksey was asked about the East Rankin team after the game, he had this to say, “I feel like it will help us to see East Rankin, which is a very good team and always well coached. This was a situation where if we haven’t played them tonight, we wouldn’t have played a game, and we didn’t want to push the season back anymore.”
Coach Cooksey commented on his pitching performance, who most people think will be the Colonels weak point this season, “Early in the season, you don’t want to push them too hard. It was a situation where we wanted to see how everyone did in a game situation and how they would react on the mound. We were really pleased with our young kids coming out tonight.”
The Colonels then would host the Jackson Victors on Saturday. The Victors took the early lead, scoring a run in the top of the second. The Colonels would take the lead in the bottom of the second, as Ragland scored on an error, and Frazier would hit a infield single, scoring Tyler Lott on the play.
The third inning added three more runs for the Colonels and four more runs in the fourth inning, giving them a 9-1 lead. The Colonels cruised through the rest of the game, finishing with a 14-4 win.
Weston Acey went three for four at the plate with 2 RBIs. Austin Ragland also went two for three and added 3 RBIs. Four pitchers for Copiah, Zane Frazier, Austin Ragland, Weston Acey, and Cory Eckhoff, all combined for the win.
The Colonels have won their first two games of the year since the Hunter Renfroe era. The Colonels will next be in action on Thursday, February 27th, at Hartfield Academy.
FROM COURIER STAFF –