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franklin county times

Bobcat bats come alive late in rout of Eagles

By Staff
Mike Self FCT Sports Editor
LEIGHTON - All it took for Phil Campbell's bats to catch fire on a frigid afternoon was a spark from Covenant Christian.
The Bobcats responded to a rally by the Eagles with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, turning a surprisingly close game into a 12-2 rout at the Indian Invitational.
Phil Campbell (2-2) led 3-0 behind four shutout innings from Jonathan Dill before the Eagles rallied for two runs in the top of the fifth.
"We didn't seem really enthused for the first few innings," Phil Campbell coach Michael Beck said. "Sometimes it's hard to get those bats going on a cold day. I think it sparked us a little bit when they scored those two runs."
After managing just four hits through the first four innings, the Bobcats banged out six in the bottom of the fifth, including four doubles.
Griffin Harris led off with a double and moved to third when Randy Cochran's soft liner bounced off the centerfielder's glove for another double.
Kevin Lacey followed with a laser into the left field corner to plate both runners for a 5-2 lead.
One out later, Steven Lacey singled and stole second. A walk to Todd Carter loaded the bases, and Brett Thomas smacked a two-run double to the gap in left-center to make it 7-2.
Harris delivered a two-run single, his second hit of the inning, to make it 9-2, and Matt Thomas scored the final run of the inning when Harris got caught in a rundown between first and second.
Eighth-grader Adam Mitchell retired the Eagles in order in the top of the sixth, and Tate Canida's two-run single in the bottom of the inning finished off the win as the Bobcats brought their record back to .500 in the week-long tournament.
"We're not here to pick up a bunch of wins," Beck said. "We're here to get our arms in shape and get in some quality swings. We've only practiced out on the field three times because basketball season ran long, and you can't simulate game-type situations in practice anyway. This is better for us than practicing on our own."
Beck was particularly pleased with the performance of Dill, who struck out four and didn't walk a batter while allowing just three hits. The freshman right-hander recovered from a one-hopper off his right knee in the first inning to retire the last eight men he faced before giving way to Caleb Thompson in the fifth.
"Dill did a good job on the mound for us today," Beck said. "The biggest thing he did was throw strikes. Teams will have to string together three or four hits in a row to score off him, because he doesn't walk many. That's a rare commodity for a ninth-grader."
The Bobcats jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first.
Matt Thomas doubled with one out, and Harris reached on an error. Cochran plated Thomas with a double to right-center, and Harris scored when the relay throw got away from the catcher.
Phil Campbell added another run in the second when Brett Thomas walked, stole a base and scored on a triple by Matt Thomas.
Cochran and Matt Thomas combined for five of Phil Campbell's nine extra-base hits.
"Matt has really stepped up for us, and Randy's hit well in all four games," Beck said. "He's really been stroking the ball. Those two guys are hitting about .600, and so is Griffin."
Covenant Christian scored twice in the fifth on an RBI groundout by Bret Waldrep and an RBI single by Buck Malone. The Eagles were still threatening with two runners on when Thompson fanned Jameson Hughston to end the inning.
Cochran finished 3-for-4 with three doubles, and Matt Thomas was 2-for-3 with a double, triple and two runs scored.
Harris went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, and Steven Lacey was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Brett Thomas was 1-for-2 with two runs and two RBIs.
Tournament play continues today with the Bobcats scheduled to face Lexington.
In other local action on Tuesday:
Vina 13 Thrasher (Miss.) 3
Rodney Barnes had three hits and five RBIs as the Red Devils earned a split of Tuesday's doubleheader.
Max Weeks and Gary Taylor each added a pair of hits for Vina (2-1).
Taylor earned the win, striking out six in five innings.
Thrasher blanked the Red Devils 5-0 in the first game.
Deshler 5 Russellville 2
Blake Waddell held the Golden Tigers to two runs on four hits in six innings to earn the win at the Pepsi Invitational.

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