Madison County bounced back from its worst loss of the year Saturday against Stephens County with perhaps its most significant win Monday, knocking of Region 8-AAAA leader Oconee County, 8-2, on the road.
The 11-12, 6-4 Red Raiders dominated a 16-6, 7-3 Oconee County team that was fresh off successful series against Jefferson, which is tied with Madison County at 6-4 in region play.
There’s a lot up for grabs as Madison County rounds out its regular season next week. The team was set to host Oconee County again Wednesday (the game was after this week’s press time). The Raiders will travel again to Watkinsville Friday. Madison County will finish the regular season with a three-game series versus Jefferson. The Raiders will play at home Monday and Friday and travel to Jefferson Wednesday. All games are at 5:55 p.m.
The Raiders’ big win Monday keeps them in the race for the region crown.
Oconee County’s Tate twins, who are normally the leading players for the Warriors, were totally shut down by Dylan Gentry. They combined to go 0-for-5 with a walk and three strikeouts.
“I wanted to see how we’d come out Monday and any time any of our starters are on the mound we have a chance to compete,” said Raider head coach Chad Gillespie. “Gentry did a great job. If you can silence those guys [Tate twins] your chances of winning go through the roof.”
Madison County scored the game’s first five runs. With two outs in the top of the second inning, Logan Brown scored on a wild pitch by Lance Cummings. Grant Miller hit a line drive into center field to bring Aubrey Davis home. The Red Raiders then led 2-0.
In the top of the third, Madison County pulled ahead 5-0, scoring three runs on a pair of errors and a wild pitch. First, Brown’s ground ball was mishandled by the third baseman and Nate Porterfield scored. Then, Noah Rogers scored on a wild pitch before Davis drove Brown home. Davis reached on an error by the first baseman.
The Warriors got their runs in the bottom of the fourth inning by way of a sacrifice fly and an error. However, another error by Oconee County scored Tristen Turner and a sacrifice fly by Josh Cotton drove Davis across the plate.
Madison County scored its last run of the game on Brown’s double. Porterfield scored, but Brown was tagged at home to end the sixth inning with the Red Raiders ahead 8-2.
Gentry and Grant Miller rolled through Oconee’s final six batters to end the ball game. WEDNESDAY VS. STEPHENS COUNTY
After shutting out Stephens County last Tuesday night, the Raiders picked up a 5-2 win Wednesday with more strong pitching from Davis and Brown.
Both teams were scoreless for the first two innings, but the Red Raiders scored in the bottom of the third inning on Gentry’s ground ball that brought Colby Smith home. Turner made the score 2-0 when he crossed the plate on Cotton’s single to left-center field in the fourth inning.
The Indians cut the lead in half on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth but that’s as close as it got.
With two outs, Porterfield on third and Rodgers on second, Brown hit a ground ball that was mishandled by the pitcher. The error allowed Porterfield and Rodgers to score, making the lead 4-1.
The errors continued into Davis’s at bat where he reached first and Brown crossed the plate to bring Madison County’s lead to 5-1 in the fifth inning.
Another sacrifice fly gave the Indians another run in the top of the sixth, but that was all they could muster for the remainder of the game, giving Madison County a 5-2 victory.
“There weren’t a ton of hits but we had timely hits, they came at very clutch moments, to help us win the series,” said Gillespie. SATURDAY VS. STEPHENS COUNTY
Madison County ended its series with its ugliest loss of the year. Stephens County defeated the Red Raiders 12-2 in just six innings.
Madison County scored first in the second inning when Davis ran home, but it came with a double play, which kept them from doing any more damage that inning.
“We came out strong Saturday but couldn’t score,” Gillespie said. “In the first inning, we had runners on first and second and couldn’t score, in the second inning we had bases loaded and could only drive in one run.”
“We had a chance their early to build a lead that would be hard to come back from,” he said.
Then, in the bottom of the third inning, Stephens County scored five runs. An error on a bunt allowed Griff Pruitt to tie the game. Kooper Briley’s double brought Kole Rodgers home. Briley scored on another error and then Dawson Dean hit a double to score Cole Beitzel. The Indians ended the inning with a single by Austin page and a run by Dean.
Turner scored in the top of the fourth on an error to slim the lead to 5-2, but Stephens County got the run back with a single hit by Bryson Fowler to drive home Pruitt.
The Indians added three runs in the fifth inning and another three in the sixth inning to end the game with the 10-run lead limit at the score of 12-2.
“Any time you let a team like that hang around, they can bite you,” said Gillespie. “They are tough to beat in the last game of a series.”