Bearcats go 1-1 on the week to remain in a tight playoff race

Published 7:18 pm Friday, April 1, 2016

After being defeated by the Crisp County Cougars 9-7 Tuesday, the Bainbridge Bearcats (14-5, 9-4 Region) immediately bounced back for a huge 6-4 win over Cook County at Adel Wednesday.

Will Kelley stayed on the hill for six innings, striking out six and walking two. He also came up big at the plate, going 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

“Kelley was absolutely great,” coach Brian McCorkle said. “He did a good job of throwing strikes. He was at his best when his best was needed, and he allowed the offense to get us some runs and get a good lead.”

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McCorkle said strong defense was played behind Kelley to get the win, with no errors and a handful of clutch plays.

Keith Lyle was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, and Carson Inlow was 1-for-3 with two runs. Griffin Long, Clark Wiggins and Caleb Boutwell scored the other runs.

“It was a really good win for our program,” McCorkle said. “It could have been a disappointing loss for our kids to go up there and give a half-hearted effort and get beat. They showed up ready to go and got after it.”

Cayden McQuaig took the mound for the last inning to put away the final three outs.

Bainbridge stayed on top until the final out after taking the lead in the first, scoring two runs on a groundout by Conner Strickland and an RBI single by Ty Varnum.

They pushed across two runs in both the second inning and the sixth. In the second, Bainbridge scored on a two-run double by Kelley, bringing home Inlow and Long.

Bainbridge added two more runs in the top of the sixth. A clutch error scored Wiggins to open the scoring in the frame. That was followed up by Lyle’s single, bringing home Inlow.

Tuesday, Bainbridge’s loss came when it allowed a tied 7-7 ball game slip away in the fourth.

Bainbridge returns to action Thursday, April 7, against Thomas County Central (16-3, 13-0 Region). Next week is Spring Break, and McCorkle said the players deserve a little rest before jumping back into the schedule.

“Our kids work hard and practice hard, so they need a good break,” he said. “They have a couple practice days before we play Central. They know what is at stake with going to the state playoffs. Our kids want to win.”