Panthers fall to area foe Bibb County

Published 6:38 pm Friday, April 4, 2014

Bibb County's Justin Cottingham (left) slides safely back into first base on Thursday before Jemison's Logan Ray can apply a tag on a pickoff attempt.

Bibb County’s Justin Cottingham (left) slides safely back into first base on Thursday before Jemison’s Logan Ray can apply a tag on a pickoff attempt.

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser

On just the second pitch of the game, the tone was set as Bibb County’s Terry Lockett sent a shot over the left field wall to give the Choctaws an early one-run lead.

Visiting Bibb County would never give up that lead, winning 6-1 over Jemison on Thursday night.

Lockett’s leadoff home run accounted for half of the Choctaws’ (15-16 overall, 4-0 area) runs in the first half with the other coming off of a run-scoring single by Brandon Fuller that plated Justin Cottingham and increased the Choctaw lead to 2-0.

A three-up and three-down bottom of the first inning for the Panthers (9-12, 1-2) allowed the Choctaws to maintain their two-run lead.

An infield single by Cottingham with the bases loaded resulted in two more Choctaw runs in the top of the second as the throw to fist base on a bunt sailed into foul territory and down the right field fence, allowing Dylan Suttle and Cade McGee to cross home plate.

The Panthers got on the board in the bottom half of the second inning when a Jacob Bates single to left-center field set up a run-scoring single by Austin Chapman.

After two innings of play, the Panthers trailed 4-1.

Both teams went quietly through the third inning, as well as the top of the fourth inning for the Choctaws.

Bates and Logan Ray started off the bottom of the fourth inning with back-to-back singles to give the Panthers two on with no outs, but three consecutive infield ground balls retired the side.

Both teams would go in order through the fifth inning.

The long ball came into play again in the top of the sixth inning as Cottingham picked up his third and fourth RBI of the game with a two-run blast over the left field wall that extended the Choctaws’ lead to five runs.

Holding on to a 6-1 lead, the Choctaws closed out the Panthers by facing just seven batters over the final two innings to pick up the win.

Banks Woodley pitched a complete game for the Panthers, recording nine strike outs while allowing six hits, four walks and four earned runs.

Chapman led the Panthers at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two singles and one RBI.

Brett Lightsey handled the pitching for the Choctaws, allowing six hits, one walk and one earned run.

Cottingham led Bibb County at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two singles, a home run and four RBI.