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Pike County completes season sweep of Goshen

Baseball bragging rights will remain in Brundidge for the rest of 2010, this after Pike County completed the season sweep of Goshen with a come-from-behind 11-6 win Thursday.

The Eagles led 5-1 after the third inning and 5-2 heading into the fifth before the Bulldog bats awakened for three runs in each of the final three innings.

“We finally started staying back and hitting the baseball,” said PCHS head coach Nathan Fordham. “We had hit the ball hard a couple of times before that, but it was right at people. But, we started finding holes, and really started playing the game after we came off the bus flat for some reason.”

The fifth began with Goshen pitcher Rob Boutwell walking the first three Pike County batters before being pulled in favor of Antarius Townsend.

Jacquez Walker reached on an error by Goshen’s Russ Thomas, scoring a run and cutting the lead to 5-3.

Deion Nickson then knocked in two runs to tie the game on a single to center field.

“You can’t give up free runs,” said Goshen head coach Ryan Ellison. “We gave up too many walks, and had too many errors tonight, and those were free runs. We just let it slip away.”

In the sixth, PCHS got RBIs from Martinez Larkin, Zack Ming and Walker to take an 8-5 lead.

PCHS then added three insurance runs in the seventh on a two-RBI single from Cody Sanders and an RBI single from Larkin.

The key in the comeback was the pitching of PCHS starter Ryan Stroud. Stroud retired 10 straight batters at one point, holding Goshen hitless from the fourth until the sixth inning.

Stroud pitched a complete game, giving up just three hits, while striking out nine. Only two of Goshen’s six runs were earned.

“Ryan Stroud pitched a heck of a ball game,” Fordham said. “He just worked his tail off tonight. I told the kids in the third and fourth innings that Ryan didn’t deserve a loss tonight, so we had better start scoring some runs at the plate.”

PCHS took a 1-0 lead in the first, only to see Goshen score two in the first and three in the third to take the 5-1 lead.

Walker, Nickson, Larkin and Sanders all had two RBIs for PCHS, while Ming had one RBI.

Goshen was led by Boutwell, who went 2-4 with three RBIs.