Cougars go 2-1 in first three ‘Beach’ games

MYRTLE BEACH — After opening its weeklong stand in the Mingo Bay high school baseball tournament in South Carolina with a win over a New York team, Jefferson was stopped, 5-1, by Cherry Hill East (NJ).

Cherry Hill East pitcher Alex Dimpter silenced the Cougars on five hits and only one run. All of Jefferson’s hits were singles. Jefferson pitcher Cody Butts, who was victimized by two dropped flies in the outfield, kept the game close until the late innings where Cherry Hill East extended a one-run lead.

On Wednesday, Jefferson moved past Saranac (NY), 11-2, and improved its record to 11-5.

The Cougars scored in four of their six offensive turns. In scoring 11 runs, the Cougars had nine hits. Shortstop Andrew King contributed three hits and drove in three runs in the team’s second win in three days.

Matt Ballou had two hits while Corey Mangold and Fraser Brown each contributed a double.

Right-hander Sean Spotts pitched a complete-game, eight-hitter and fared well mainly because he walked only one man. He fanned 10.

Saranac scored single runs in the first and third innings, but the Cougars still led, 3-2, after three. Jefferson plated three more runs in the fourth and added five runs in the fifth to get some breathing space with an 11-2 lead with only two innings to play.

On Thursday, Jefferson was paired with another team with a 2-1 tournament record in Frontier, NY. There were two other teams — Conway (SC) and Horseheads (NY) — with similar 2-1 records in the same grouping as Jefferson and Frontier. The Cougars had to win on Thursday in order to qualify for a game on Friday against the winner of the Conway vs. Horseheads game. A loss to Frontier would end the Cougars week in Myrtle Beach.

Jefferson rallied from a 4-0 deficit to beat Frontier, 5-4, on Thursday. The Cougars still trailed, 4-2, when they batted in the bottom of the seventh.

Andrew Grove had a leadoff walk in the seventh. Brandt Petrie grounded to the Frontier third baseman, who bobbled the ball. The infielder made a poor throw to first where Petrie was safe and Grove moved on to third base.

Andrew King had a sacrifice fly that scored Grove, making it a 4-3 game. Anthony DiAmario drew a walk and Jefferson had runners at first and second.

Fraser Brown rammed a double past a retreating outfielder that plated the tying run and allowed DiAmario to score all the way from first with the winning run.

Blake Johnson was Jefferson’s route-going pitcher. He struck out five, doled out only one intentional walk, and allowed seven hits. Frontier had a four-run third where a dropped infield pop fly

made three of the runs unearned. Three of Frontier’s seven hits came in that inning.

Jefferson sliced the deficit to 4-2 when Andrew King singled, DiAmario walked, and Brown eventually delivered a two-run single.

Brown had four RBIs. Andrew King, Matt Ballou, and Brown all had two hits.

The Cougars were 12-5 overall with their last tournament game to be played on Friday.

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