The cool weather didn’t affect the hot bats for Columbia County high school teams Saturday as Evans and Lakeside slugged their way to victory at the Evans Diamond Days event.
Evans overcame an early deficit to beat Winder-Barrow 13-6, and in the nightcap, Lakeside overwhelmed Burke County 11-0.
Evans (2-1) was in trouble early as the Bulldogs scored five runs in the first three innings, with starting pitcher Blake Marbut (0-1) yet to allow a hit. Marbut quickly retired the first two batters in the bottom of the third, but he wouldn’t make it out of the inning as the Knights bats came alive, scoring seven two-out runs.
“We were looking for a big inning. We really were,” said freshman catcher Matt Anderson, who went 2 for 4 with three RBI, including a two-run double in the rally.
The inning made a winner of Josh Roye (1-0), who gave up three runs on three hits in three innings of work after coming on in relief for starter Will Crow in the third. Kyle Anderson and Tyler Moore pitched the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, allowing no runs or hits.
Crow ignited the third-inning rally with a single, the first of seven consecutive hits with Garrett Wilkerson, Jordan Rice, Jeremy Clements, Anderson, Spencer Murray and Trevor Grijalva joining in. Blake Ovito relieved Marbut and promptly walked Moore, which drove in the final run of the inning.
“Once one (hit) fell, everyone started to feed off it,” said Knights head coach Ricky Beale.
Wilkerson went 2 for 4 and scored two runs.
Lakeside had no trouble from the start, jumping all over Burke County (2-1) starter Bobby Gay, scoring four first-inning runs on four hits. Like the Knights, though, they scored all four runs with two outs. Tanner Durand and T.J. Hester had run-scoring singles, and Cole Pittman delivered a two-run double.
Panthers coach Jay Matthews said getting on top early was important.
“It was huge,” he said. “With a four-run lead we don’t have to pitch carefully or worry about making mistakes.”
Staked to the big lead, junior Lane Wallace (1-0) found the zone, recording six strikeouts while allowing three hits in five innings of work.
“I just came out and pounded the strike zone and did the best I could,” Wallace said. “It wasn’t anything special.”
The Panthers (2-1) added two runs in the third, one in the fourth and ended the game early with four fifth-inning runs.
Brassell went 2 for 2 with two RBI. Tanner Durand went 1 for 3 with three RBI and Zach Hornsby was 3 for 4.