Crisp County pitcher Davis Adkins, who combined with Robert Tyler to throw a one-hit shutout Wednesday against Worth County, gave up one hit while striking out seven in four innings.
SYLVESTER — Maybe they should start spelling Crisp County with K’s.
After all, that’s the way the Krisp Kounty baseball team plays.
Just ask Worth County’s Rams, who struck out 13 times Wednesday night in a 3-0 loss to the Cougars (make that, Kougars) in a big Region 1-AAA game.
Well, it might not have been that big for Crisp County, which hasn’t lost a region game in two years.
“We look at every region game the same,’’ Cougars coach said Bill Pate, who watched Davis Adkins and Robert Tyler combine to throw a one-hitter.
It hasn’t mattered if its a region game or not this season. Crisp has won them all. The Cougars are 18-0 and ranked No. 3 in the Class AAA state poll. They’re 7-0 with five games left in the region race that is all about catching up with the Krisp Kids.
Cairo has one loss in the region (to Crisp) and now Worth County has two losses in the region, and both are to Crisp. Cairo (5-1) and Worth (6-2) meet twice as the season winds down in a battle for second place.
Worth did everything but hit on Wednesday.
Catcher Brandon Weaver threw out three runners trying to steal second, center fielder Marlin Hall made the catch of the year in center, running a mile and diving to make a head-first catch with a runner at first in the third inning, and shortstop Andrew Fellows kept the game scoreless in the fourth with a backhand play on a tough grounder in the hole and a heads-up throw to third to get a force out.
But it wasn’t enough to beat Crisp.
“Our kids left it all on the field,’’ Worth County coach Will Smith said. “We played well. Brandon threw out three guys and Marlin made that catch. That’s one of the best catches I’ve seen in a long time, and our shortstop came up with a real big play for us. But we got shut down by good pitching. That’s the bottom line.’’
It was the wrong night to face Crisp County.
Everyone who follows high school baseball in Southwest Georgia knows Crisp has two aces on the staff, and every team in the region wonders which one they will see — Adkins or Tyler?
Worth had to face both.
Because Crisp is on spring break, Pate wanted to give both pitchers work this week against Worth, because Crisp doesn’t play again until Monday.
Adkins, a smart, savvy right-hander, mixed his pitches and kept Worth off balance for four innings, dealing sliders and off-speed stuff by the Rams, who struck out seven times and managed just one hit, a single by Hall in the second. Adkins (6-0), whose ERA is at 0.53, didn’t allow a walk and faced only 12 batters (Hall was thrown out trying to steal).
Then came Tyler (7-0), who burns down the house with 93-94 mph heat. He fanned six of the nine batters he faced, tossing three perfect innings at the Rams. His ERA is at 0.73.
“We started out with me and I’m throwing junk, and then come in with the heat with Robert, ‘’ said Adkins, who has a no-hitter and a couple of one-hitters on his own. “It’s hard to adjust. It’s rough (on the other team).’’
Tyler, who has a no-hitter and two perfect games this season, thought about the fall-off-the-cliff problem of adjusting from Adkins’ finesse to facing his fastball, and simply said: “I’m glad I’m not hitting.’’
He knew right away just how difficult it was for the Worth batters.
“You could tell,’’ he said. “They were late.’’
Worth starter Ryan Hickox pitched well and lost for only the third time in two years, but the Cougars finally got to him with a three-run fifth. Taylor Walls singled and Stewart Tyler doubled to start the inning. Drake Dozier hit what looked like a possible sacrifice fly, but Hall made a strong throw to the plate to hold the runner. Kory Herrington, who was hitting .353 at the time, ripped a two-run single to left and moved to second on the throw to the plate. Robert Tyler singled in Herrington.
“I was excited,’’ Herrington said of his hit that broke the game open. “I was just trying to help my team. We’ve got good pitching. One run can win it.’’
That’s all Adkins and Tyler needed to win as Crisp tossed its second shutout against Worth, which lost, 8-0, earlier in Cordele.
“We have been doing a good job coming through with the big hits all year,’’ Pate said. “It’s been a different guy all year.’’
It’s been a memorable year for Crisp, full of big hits, win after win, and plenty of K’s for the Krisp Kounty Kougars.