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Bats come alive for Cougars

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By Chris Cannon

ccannon@lafollettepress.comCampbell County’s bats came alive on Friday night, as they found 12 hits against Claiborne County.

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The Cougars used three hits in the first inning, along with three walks, a hit batsman and an error in order to jump to a 6-0 lead early.

“It seems like we’ve been playing and holding back,” head coach Ryan Browning said. “I told them to play with some reckless abandonment. If we can keep that attitude, we’ve got nothing to lose. Just get out there and play as hard as you can.”

That attitude seemed to work, as Campbell County found it’s second win of the young season.

Bo Farris also found that to be a worthy piece of advice, as the senior went 3-for-3 at the plate, while adding four stolen bases, an RBI, and three runs scored.

“I’ve been in a slump these first couple of games,” Farris said. “After last year, I thought I should be killing the ball. Like Tucker (Cain) said, we live up here in the cage.”

Cain also had an impressive outing, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

For Browning, a move in the lineup helped to boost the output of his hitters. Those middle bats hadn’t been producing in previous games.

“That’s what we need,” Browning said. “That’s what’s been missing in the middle. We moved Bo up so he could see more fastballs. Sometimes in the three or four spot, you see more curve balls…They did a good job.”

Cain says that time in the cages has helped, but the Cougars have something bigger on their side.

“We’ve been putting a lot of time in the cages,” he said. “Just about every day, we have a lot of people up here hitting. Truthfully, spiritually, we’ve grown as a team also. We’ve definitely got God on our side, and that’s a big thing for us.”

Farris also had a big outing on the mound, only allowing two hits for the Bulldogs. He didn’t allow a walk, while only hitting two batters.

He struck out nine on the day.

“He threw the ball well,” Browning said. “His back’s been messing with him the past couple of weeks. I went out there that one inning, and Claiborne did a good job when he threw a fastball. They got the bat on it. I told him to look to throw that curve ball a little bit more. He mowed the down after that. He was mixing it in there and kept that curve ball down.”

Farris threw only 12 pitches in the first inning, eight of those going for strikes.

His counterpart from Claiborne County, Brandon Tolliver, threw 49 pitches in the first inning.

“The first game that I pitched, I hurt my back,” Farris said. “I loaded down with IcyHot. I was just thinking, ‘Throw strikes and don’t think about it.’ It was killing me, but I’m just glad that I threw eight strikes out of 12.”

The Cougars got things started in the first inning. A single to left by Farris was quickly followed by two walks for Cain and Joseph Williams to leave the bases loaded. Andrew Evans reached on an error, as Farris scored from third. A throwing error by right field resulted in Cain crossing the plate as well. Hunter Scott’s double to left-center scored Evans from third. A single late in the inning scored both Brady Orick and Scott, for a 6-0 lead.

The second inning started just as quick for Campbell County, as Farris was hit-by-pitch. Two stolen bases later, and a single by Cain, Farris crossed the plate. Williams reached on an error, as Cain scored for an 8-0 advantage.

A single to left by Claiborne’s Poore during the third inning was the first hit Farris allowed. A single to left by Josh Breaux scored Poore from second, making the score 8-1.

However, during the fourth inning, Campbell County’s offense came alive again. The Cougars combined for five singles and a double in the fourth inning, as well as two walks. Ben Bostic, Farris, Brandon Miller, Evans, Scott, Orick and Aaron Sanches all scored in the inning, giving the game its final margin of 15-1.