JESUP — The long bus ride over to the eastern part of south Georgia turned into disappointment for the Lee County Trojans late Saturday afternoon when the host Wayne County Yellow Jackets took advantage of several of Lee County miscues to score 11 runs in the sixth inning and beat the Trojans 12-2. The Trojans had dropped a 3-2 decision to Jeff Davis earlier in the day.
The Trojans led 2-1 heading into the sixth inning when Luke Powell took over on the mound in relief of Will Henderson. Things didn't go well for Powell and the Trojan defense after that. The first batter walked, followed by a single and then a bunt. Powell picked up the bunt and threw it toward Smith Pinson who was covering third base. The ball flew over Pinson's head and a runner scored from second. Wayne County senior Zach Thomas, who had been on the mound for the Jackets earlier in the game, then belted the ball to the left center field fence and scored two more runs to put the Jackets up 4-2.
Lee County skipper Brain Trivette walked to the mound and brought Chase Howell in to pitch for the Trojans. It was not a good game for Howell either and after the Jackets had moved the score to 8-2 with still no outs, Trivitte went to the mound again and brought in Luke Addison to pitch.
Addison threw one pitch and got the first out of the inning but moments later Thomas came to the plate again and blasted another double to the fence to make the score 11-2. He scored the final run moments later on a passed ball that went to the back stop. The Trojans suffered three errors, a wild pitch and a passed ball during that sixth inning.
"As in both games, going into the late innings, we played not to lose, instead of playing to win," Trivette said after the game."After we give up a free base to the lead off guy, base hit, and then we don't execute the bunt coverage. That shows the importance of doing the little things and taking care of the baseball. After that, we couldn't stop the bleeding."
Trivette continued, "All in all we must be able to finish ball games and fight all the way through. I told them after the game, if we had lost late, but played hard, took care of the baseball and fought until the end, I couldn't be mad."
But Trivette wasn't mad about everything. The game started out strong for the Trojans with Pinson and Henderson. Pinson pitched one and two-thirds innings - facing five batters
and striking out four of them. Henderson followed with three and 1/3 strong innings, giving up one unearned run and one hit. He struck out seven batters.
"I was really impressed with the first two guys that pitched," the coach said."They were on strict pitch counts. Combined they had 11 Ks and no walks through five innings."
The Trojans managed only three hits against Wayne County pitchers and first baseman Jeffrey Bryan had two of those hits. His first single in the first inning scored Luke Powell who
had doubled for the first of Lee County's hits. The Trojans moved the lead to 2-0 in the fifth when shortstop Cameron Paul walked, stole second, moved to third on a bunt by Like
Powell and then scored when Bryan hit a slower roller past the pitcher and the Jackets had no play at home so the throw went to first base.
In the first game against Jeff Davis, a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning scored the go ahead run for Jeff Davis to give them the 3-2 win over the Trojans. Dallas Nesbit pitched five strong
innings for the Trojans, giving up three hits and two runs - one earned. He struck out four and walked two. Chandler Cannon followed on the mound, giving up two hits and one run.
At the plate, Cooper Ray's single scored two runs for the Trojans. Drew Dixon doubled for Lee County.
"Now we have to get back to work on Monday for Colquitt County on Tuesday," Trivette said.
The Trojans will travel to Moultrie Tuesday for a 5:30 start at Packer Park.