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Pike County starts year

off right with home win

By STEVEN G. WATSON

Sports Editor

Michael Lowery didn’t show any signs of rust Saturday afternoon as the Pike County baseball team got their 2000 season off to a good start.

Lowery lead his team to a 10-5 win over visiting Lanett and missed hitting for the cycle by only a triple. Lowery’s 3-for-4 day highlighted a great offensive showing by the Bulldogs who scored in every inning except for the sixth.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the first and two outs, Brian Kilpatrick got the ball rolling for the Bulldogs with a single to left that got past the Lanett left fielder allowing two to score. Lowery then cleaned up the rest with a three-run shot to left giving PCHS an early 5-0 lead.

While the five-run lead might have felt comfortable, the Bulldogs watched as LHS sent nine batters to the plate in their half of the second and cut it to only one. After a lead-off solo homer, Lanett put three more runs on the board facing two outs.

Pike County starter Jonathan Tillery regained his composure, however, and with some great defense backing him up the Bulldogs held LHS to only one run the rest of the way.

"We did a real good job hitting the ball," PCHS head coach Fred Holland said. "We still need to keep playing hard every inning though. We might have got a little complacent being up by five runs early, but when they battled back we matched their intensity."

Twice in the later innings LHS threatened to score with men on third and no outs, but the Bulldogs put up a wall around the infield and wouldn’t let anything get through.

"I think that’s a true testament to your defense after they make a threat early with no outs and you’re able to hold them like that," Holland said. "We’ve worked on defense well and communicated well on getting outs when you have to."

Tillery pitched the complete game for PCHS giving up the five runs on eight hits, but striking out eight and only walking one.

Behind Lowery’s explosive bat at the plate, Kilpatrick finished up with a 2-for-2 day notching a double and four RBI’s while Robby Price had a double and Joshua Price, Chris Nickson and Chris Langston all had singles.

"I think we did pretty good playing a lot of young kids like we have to," Holland said of his team’s first action of the season. We’ve got a good mixture of young and old and right now they’re getting over playing each other in practice. They were tired of batting against me and were just ready for it."

With the March 4 start the Bulldogs won’t get much chance to rest in the coming days.

Starting Monday Pike County will will go on a stretch of seven games in only six days. The Bulldogs will play every day of the week including two games with county-rival Goshen and a two-game set with Luverne on Thursday.

After the six game stretch PCHS will get a much needed six day rest without a game.