If not for a 6-4 loss in the first game of a home doubleheader with Knoxville Central on Saturday, the Campbell County High School varsity baseball would’ve been unbeaten heading into Monday’s big district showdown against rival Anderson County.
Nevertheless, the Cougars are off to their best start in recent memory following a 6-5 victory over Central in Saturday’s nightcap.
Andy Hickman (2-0) got the win for Campbell County. He struck out seven batters in six innings on the mound.
Joseph Williams and Nick Bailey led the Cougars’ hit parade by going 2-for-3 each at the plate. Chris Hutson and Lee Sharp went 2-for-4 each, while Aaron Chapman was 1-for-4.
Williams drove in a run to get the Cougars on the scoreboard in the first inning. The Bobcats tied the game in the next inning and pulled in front, 3-1, in the third.
Campbell County regained the lead, 4-3, with three runs in the fourth inning on RBI by Bailey, Hutson and Tucker Cain.
Central tied the game again, 4-4, in the fifth inning. The Cougars took command with a pair of runs in the fifth inning and kept the lead the rest of the way.
During Saturday’s opener, the game was scoreless until the fourth inning, when Campbell County took a 2-0 lead on a base hit by Andy Hickman. The Cougars scored two more runs in the fifth inning.
However, Campbell County made two errors in the bottom of the fifth that allowed Central to take a 5-4 lead. The Bobcats scored once more in the sixth to hand the Cougars their first loss of the season.
Williams went 2-for-3 for Campbell County, followed by Chapman, 1-for-2; Andy Hickman, 1-for-2 (RBI); and Bo Farris and Lee Sharp, 1-for-4 each with an RBI.
Chapman suffered the loss. He struck out five batters in 4.2 innings of work.
The previous afternoon, Campbell County defeated Oneida, 7-2, in a game that was delayed because of rain and then called after five innings because of fog.
Hunter Scott was credited with the win. He fanned six batters and scattered half a dozen hits in four innings.
The Cougars took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a Farris 2-run double and RBI from David Hickman and Bailey.
Williams made it 5-0 with an RBI in the top of the second. Oneida got on the board with two runs in the third inning, but Campbell County scored twice in the fourth to win the game.
Williams and Hutson went 2-for-2 each; while Farris, Andy Hickman and Bailey went 1-for-2 each.
Two days earlier, Campbell County beat Lenoir City, 11-7, in a game pitting Cougars’ coach Brad Collette against his former assistant, Chris Mayes, who is now head coach for the Panthers.
Campbell County overcame an early 4-0 deficit with aggressive base running. The Cougars hit .500 as a team and stole 15 total bases. Farris went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and a pair of runs scored. Twins Andy and David Hickman were a combined 5-for-7 at the plate. David Hickman pitched the first 5.1 innings to take the win. He struck out six batters along the way. Chapman came on in relief and was credited with the save.