NEEDING a win to remain in a tie for first place, the Jackson County baseball team lost a little bit of footing in the wildly competitive Region 8-AAA.
The Panthers (13-5, 4-3) fell 2-1 to North Oconee (8-10, 4-3) Tuesday at home as both Jackson County’s Coleman Barbee and North Oconee’s Logan Hicks threw complete game four-hitters.
“Both kids pitched their rear ends off ... you just kind of tip your hat to them and move on to tomorrow (Wednesday),” coach Tommy Fountain said. “It’s one of those deals where I’m kind of glad we get to play the very next day.”
Jackson County and North Oconee square off again today (Wednesday) at 5:55 p.m. in Bogart in the second game of their two-games series.
The Panthers will try to avoid being swept for the first time this season. Jackson County split series with both Oconee County and Morgan County and swept Elbert County (see baseball round-up on page 4B for more details).
“You never want to lose two in a row,” Fountain said. “As long as you go through the year and stay away from losing two in a row, you’ll find yourself in a good spot.”
While Barbee was dominant for the Panthers Tuesday, Jackson County’s defense committed two costly errors.
North Oconee scored its first run on a dropped fly ball in the first inning. An error at second base in the third inning with two outs allowed the Titans to add an unearned insurance run.
Andrew Fogarty drove home the Panthers’ only run with an RBI single in the fourth inning.
Jackson County nearly tied the ballgame in the final inning when Colby Cole ripped a two-out double that one-hopped the leftfield wall.
Nick Corso, however, popped out to end the game.
Following today’s rematch with North Oconee, the Panthers start a two-game series with Franklin County, playing on the road Friday (5:55 p.m.) and returning home Monday (5:55 p.m.).
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