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Cherokee County Herald - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

“It was just one of those days where ev­ery­thing went per­fectly right,” he said. “Ev­ery­thing from when you wake up to the school day, ev­ery­thing was just go­ing right. BP (bat­ting prac­tice) be­fore the game was per­fect. Ev­ery­one was ex­cited to play. Ev­ery­one was spank­ing the baseball. Ev­ery­one was mak­ing the plays. Ev­ery­one was ready to be out here and ready to play DAR. I just felt like it was a good day.”

And it was a good day for sev­eral War­riors, in­clud­ing se­nior des­ig­nated hit­ter Colin Brewer.

Just two weeks re­moved from hav­ing eye surgery, Brewer went 2- for- 3 in game one, in­clud­ing a three-run homer to left in the first in­ning. He also went 2-for-3 in the sec­ond game with a pair of in­ten­tional walks.

“My vi­sion is still not there yet, but I’m work­ing on it,” Brewer said with a smile. “I’m hav­ing to hit with shades that I’m not too com­fort­able with, but it’s get­ting bet­ter day by day.”

Brewer said the War­riors were fo­cused on get­ting off to a good start against the Pa­tri­ots (14-12).

“Putting four runs on them (in the first in­ning of game one) like that puts their backs against the wall, and they’re fight­ing an up­hill bat­tle,” Brewer said. “When we get rolling, I don’t think we can stop. We’ve worked on a mid­dle-way plate ap­proach, re­ally be­ing smart, not chas­ing pitches and not get­ting be­hind in the count.”

The War­riors’ four-run first in­ning in game one def­i­nitely set the tone for the day, and it was more than enough run support for pitch­ers Noah Led­bet­ter and Chris­tian Stinson. Led­bet­ter started and picked up the win. He tossed three in­nings of one-hit ball.

Af­ter the War­riors scored five more runs in the sec­ond to take a 9-0 lead, Stinson came in to relieve Led­bet­ter, and that was when the Pa­triot hit­ters be­gan to find their groove.

They scored three runs in the top of the fourth and three more in the top of the fifth, but the War­riors still had the game in hand, lead­ing 15-6.

“Noah was ex­tra­or­di­nary in the first game. He did a lot of good things,” Fran Blanchard said. “When we switched and went to Chris­tian, their bats came alive. It wasn’t that Chris­tian was throw­ing bad. They just made the ad­just­ment, and that’s what a good team does.”

The War­riors col­lected 20 hits in game one. In ad­di­tion to Jaren Lock­ridge and Brewer, Led­bet­ter, Josh Decker, Chris Ray, Colin Ed­wards and Jy Lock­ridge each col­lected mul­ti­ple hits for War­riors. It was Jy Lock­ridge’s RBI-sin­gle in the bot­tom of the fifth that ended the game. The hit scored Ray, who dou­bled to cen­ter to lead off the in­ning.

Colton Smith led the Pa­tri­ots at the plate in game one, go­ing 3-for-3 with a RBI. Austin Sanderson, Will Sanderson and Justin Stub­ble­field each had a pair of hits. Stub­ble­field suf­fered the loss.

In the sec­ond game, it was DAR that got out to the early lead by scor­ing three runs in the bot­tom of the sec­ond in­ning. The War­riors got one of those runs back in the top of the third, then sent 17 bat­ters to the plate in the top of the fourth and scored 12 runs to take a 13-3 lead.

The Pa­tri­ots didn’t lay their bats down, as they scratched across three runs in the bot­tom of the fourth to trim Chero­kee County’s lead to 13-6, but the War­riors kept pound­ing away. They scored a run in the top of the fifth and fin­ished the game off with six more runs in the top of the sixth for the fi­nal.

“That was a lot of runs in two games for us, but you never felt at ease,” Fran Blanchard said. “We’ve been streaky this year. We’ve been re­ally, re­ally hot, then we’d come back and lay an egg with a 2-1 game or some­thing like that. The top (of the lineup) was ex­tra­or­di­nary tonight and did a re­ally good job. I was es­pe­cially happy with Zae (Wright) in the nine hole.”

Brewer went 2-for-3 in game two with a pair of in­ten­tional walks. Josh Decker also added a pair of hits, in­clud­ing a tworun triple in the sixth. Gun­nar Gable went 2-for2 as a pinch hit­ter. Cade Gos­sett dou­bled and walked. Caleb Ran­sum sin­gled, walked and drove in three runs. Led­bet­ter had a two-run sin­gle and a walk. Wright sin­gled and walked twice.

Decker picked up the win and Dalton Camp­bell suf­fered the loss for the Pa­tri­ots.

Will Sanderson sin­gled twice, walked twice and drove in a pair of runs. Austin Sanderson dou­bled and walked. Smith drew three walks. Lan­den Harbin fin­ished 2-for-4 at the plate for the Pa­tri­ots.

With the wins over DAR, Chero­kee County will now pre­pare to host fifth- ranked Madi­son Academy (23-15).

“Play­ing at home is huge,” Brewer said. “We’ve got some mas­sive mo­men­tum go­ing. Our work ethic is in­cred­i­ble. We prac­tice three or four hours ev­ery day, game-sit­u­a­tional stuff. We’re look­ing for­ward to Madi­son Academy. It’s go­ing to be a great se­ries.”

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