Bearcats lose first game to Lee County

Published 5:10 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bainbridge’s 5-1 season-opening loss to Lee County may look worse on paper than it really was.

Coach Brian McCorkle said there was way too much talent on this Bearcat team to start worrying after the first game.

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“Overall, we are going to be OK,” McCorkle said. “We have too much experience and too many games under our belt for me to panic on one baseball game.”

Bainbridge watched as the game slipped away early to base running problems and errors on defense. Despite out-hitting the Trojans seven to four, the Bearcats couldn’t plate runner until the fourth inning. Meanwhile, Lee County had scored in the second, third and fourth and held back the Bearcats batting efforts.

Lee County’s first run came off an error in the second.

Josh Hatcher earned the win for Lee County. He went three innings, allowing zero runs, five hits and striking out one. Hatcher also banged out a home run in the top of the third.

“Good pitchers have a point in every game where you have a chance to get them,” McCorkle said. “We had a chance to get that guy in the first inning, but we didn’t get it. And then we kind of gave them some stuff. They did a good job of taking it. We played better even though we didn’t score many runs.

Will Kelley took the loss for Bainbridge. He pitched for four innings and allowed five runs and a walk. He struck out two Trojans.

Dalton Harrell closed for the Bearcats and stopped the bleeding. Over three innings, he allowed no hits while striking out four batters and kept the Trojans from adding more runs to the board.

“I’m encouraged about our pitchers,” McCorkle said. “All you can ask that reliever to do is hold them right there.”

Kelley was 2-for-2 at the plate.

Noah Bryant, who went 1-for-3, brought in the lone run for the Bearcats in the fourth inning. Nick Barber hit a fly ball that was dropped in left field, driving in Bryant.

Bainbridge’s next game is Thursday at Early County. First pitch is 5:30 p.m. the Bearcats’ Region 1-AAAAA schedule begins Friday, Feb. 24, at 5:30 p.m. at the BHS fields.