On a night in which Cecil Patterson’s impact on the Greyhounds baseball program was honored, JCHS walked away with a dramatic victory.
Keagan Baxter’ two-out solo walk-off homer to the deepest part of Cecil Patterson Field won it 6-5 for the Greyhounds in the bottom of the seventh, bringing them back after the Raiders pulled ahead to lead 5-4 in the top of the sixth.
“I asked him not to muscle up and to let his hands do the work,” Greyhounds head coach Jason Page said. “He has really quick hands and he did exactly that, looked for a fastball, didn’t muscle up, it was just a great swing, He got every bit of it.”
The Greyhounds tied it after Aiden Payne led off with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a Tucker Mix groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by John Alan Richter.
Richter led the Greyhounds at the plate on Friday with three RBIs.
It wasn’t the only time on Friday that a Richter hit resulted in a run score by Payne. As Jonah Hill’s character in the movie “Moneyball” famously said, “he gets on base.” As he did in the seventh, Payne led off the first by walking, going on to score on a single by Richter.
After being touched up for a run by West Laurens in the first, Jacob Thompson shut down West Laurens over the next three scoreless innings, helping the Greyhounds lead 4-2 with two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth. you
The pair of fourth-inning runs came as JCHS took advantage of West Laurens miscues, Baxter reached on s a dropped third strike, going on the score on an error off the bat of Thompson. Tucker Maddox, courtesy running for Thompson, would score on r a wild pitch. An inning later, Payne reached on a dropped third strike and scored on a sacrifice fly by Richter to lead ervic 4-2.
The Raiders would eventually get to Thompson, scoring three times in the sixth to lead 5-4. Thompson, who ended up not being credited with a decision, gave up eight hits and struck out six. Dawson Harris replaced him in the seventh, ce giving up one hit.
“We’re trying to approach each game like it’s a playoff game,” Page said. “It was a special night dedicating the field to Cecil Patterson, and just a great way for our kids to come back after getting knocked down.”
The win improved Jones County’s record to 16-10, The Greyhounds traveled to Bleckley County Tuesday and go to Houston County on Wednesday to close out the regular season. Next is the GHSA Class AAAAA state playoffs where the likely opponent April 28-29 will be Wayne County on the road. The Greyhounds also beat Veterans 2-0 last week as Landon Califf threw a five-hit shutout.