Starr's Mill ends losing streak, defeats East Coweta 11-5

Wed, 03/12/2008 - 9:01pm
By: Kevin Wandra

The Starr’s Mill Panthers and East Coweta Indians are two teams that have been struggling; Starr’s Mill had lost three straight games and East Coweta had lost five straight entering their non-region game Wednesday in Sharpsburg.

Both teams desperately needed a confidence-boosting victory.

Starr’s Mill held a 10-run lead after five innings, and it appeared to be set to close out the game early by bringing the mercy rule into effect.

But the Panthers allowed East Coweta to come back, almost letting a sure victory slip away, before finally holding off the Indians for an 11- 5 victory.

The victory was a huge relief for Starr’s Mill coach Brent Moseley.

“We needed this win bad,” Moseley said. “They helped us a lot [East Coweta committed seven errors], but we have not been playing to our potential by any means. This win is a good start.”

Holding a 10-run lead following a five-run fourth inning and a three-run fifth, Moseley pulled starting pitcher Ken Jackson, who had pitched four scoreless innings, to start the fifth, replacing him with Michael Jeanes.

That’s when East Coweta’s comeback, and Starr’s Mill’s consternation, began.

It was the first appearance on the mound this season for Jeanes, who, after suffering an elbow injury to his (right) pitching arm last year, still is shaking off the rust.

East Coweta rallied against Jeanes, scoring four runs in the inning, two on a home run that Felton James clobbered over the left-field fence, to make it 10-4.

Moseley went back to his bullpen, calling on Randy Beadling to close out the inning. Beadling got the job done, inducing Seth Newton to fly out to center field.

After Starr’s Mill added another run on a Miles Jaye single to center field in the sixth, East Coweta looked to make a comeback in the bottom of the seventh.

East Coweta's first three batters of the inning reached; Mac McKnight had a leadoff walk, Taylor Cato singled to right field, and Josh Shiver followed with an RBI double that made it 11-5.

Jaye, who came on in relief of Beadling after Beadling left the game in the sixth following an infield single by Carson Bedrosian that hit sharply off the back of his left leg, ended East Coweta’s comeback hopes by striking out James swinging and inducing Newton to line into a game-ending double play.

Moseley admitted he pulled Jackson too early.

“Absolutely,” Moseley said. “We needed the sure thing to get out of here and feel good about ourselves. I put Jeanes in because we had a big lead. I wanted to see him throw because he’s still working his way back.

“Hindsight is 20/20, though. We ended up winning, so everything worked out fine.”

An opposite-field RBI single by Ed Cook and a fielder’s choice by Jeff Stock in the first inning handed Jackson a 2-0 lead with which to work before he could even step foot on the mound.

Jackson went on to turn in one of the best pitching performances for Starr’s Mill thus far in the young season, limiting the Indians to three hits, one walk, one hit batsman and no runs while striking out four in four innings for the victory.

Starr’s Mill pulled away in the fourth, scoring five runs with two outs.

Drew Johnson sparked Starr’s Mill’s big inning with a two-run double that glanced off the glove of diving East Coweta right fielder Caleb Pulliam.

Bryan Hasse followed with a check-swing RBI single up the middle. Two batters later, on a strike-three passed ball, Hasse came running home, where East Coweta catcher Kenny Reeves dove to tag Hasse.

It was an athletic play by Reeves, but once he tagged Hasse, the ball was jostled loose, allowing Hasse to score and keeping the inning alive for the Panthers.

Stock followed with an RBI single down the third base line to complete the scoring in the inning.

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