0

Lee County splits with Lakeside

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

AUGUSTA -- Lee County coach Rob Williams had good news Wednesday.

Just not the best news.

While Lee County is still alive in the GHSA Class AAAA state playoffs, the Trojans will have to win today against Lakeside Evans to advance after the two teams split their series openers with Lakeside winning Game 1, 3-1, while Lee took Game 2, 4-2.

Game 3 will be played today at 4 p.m.

"What people are seeing is just two evenly matched baseball teams," Lee County coach Rob Williams said.

Both teams used only two pitchers through the first two games, with Lakeside's Jeffrey Stoner and Lee County's Matthew Suggs shining in opposite contests. Stoner, who dropped his first decision of the year in the first round against Effingham County last week, pitched out of multiple jams and struck out eight to win the opener.

Suggs finished that game 2-for-4, as did Chase Griffin and Jess Posey, who will get the Game 3 start today. Posey is 4-2 on the season.

Suggs, like Stoner in Game 1, shined for the Trojans in Game 2, and earned the win when designated hitter Daniel Nichols, who played almost the entire season on the junior varsity, knocked a two-run homer over the center-field fence with two outs in the sixth. The hit broke a 2-2 tie.

"How about that?" Williams asked aloud. "The kid plays most of the year on JV, we bring him up toward the end and he's now hit two home runs in two (playoff games)."

Nichols, whose blast Wednesday traveled "352 feet," Williams said, also hit one last week in the playoff opening sweep of Jonesboro.

Suggs, who improved to 7-1 on the season, gave up just five hits and struck out eight.

"The first game was just an all-around good baseball game -- so was the second game, for that matter," Lakeside coach T.J. Davis said. "We're pretty evenly matched all the way down. It's going to be a good (final) game."

Williams agreed.

"We never got down after Game 1, and we feel great going in to (today's Game 2," he said.

----------------

The Augusta Chronicle contributed to this report