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Trojans Suffer A 10-6 Defeat At The Hands Of The Heard Co. Braves

The Trojans hosted Heard Co. on Senior Night on Friday, 4/24, at Aldora Field in front of a huge crowd. Heard Co. brought a strong contingent of fans with them from Franklin, and the Trojans had a large crowd of supporters on-hand to observe the Seniors & Teachers Appreciation Night, as well… The weather was tailor-made for baseball, as the temperatures hovered in the low-to-mid 70’s on a beautiful, and warm spring afternoon. This contest loomed-large for Heard Co., as they trailed Pike Co. by one game in the Region 5-AA Standings — a 9-7 loss to Pike, at Heard — and, they could ill-afford another region loss at the expense of the Trojans, if they wanted to play for the region championship, when they visit the Pike Co. Pirates in Zebulon on next Friday, May-the-1st. If the crowd wasn’t already huge, it got even larger, when the Pike Co. Coaches and Players showed up at Aldora Field in about the 4th inning, after dispensing of Macon Co. 15-0, when the mercy rule was invoked in a game-shortened 15-0 affair in Zebulon, after just 3-innings of play. The Pirates were there to scout Heard, but, the feeling was that they were, also, there to support their region counterparts from the adjoining county, and to hope that the Trojans would give them another leg-up in the race for the region championship — by giving the Braves their second region loss on the season. The Trojans had a 6-game winning streak coming into this contest, and were in hopes of making it 7. But, the senior-laden Heard Co. squad was just too much for them to overcome… Heard started 8-seniors in their lineup, and the maturity showed, as they were a crusty-bunch that looked like they had spent a lot of time in the weightroom, and in the indoor hitting facility that they have on their campus. However, the Trojans fought valiantly in the contest, and the Braves never could relax, until the last out was recorded in the bottom of the 7th inning. Heard took the lead at 3-0 about midway of the game, and then tacked-on another run to make the score 4-0. But, the Trojans did not fold, as the came back with a 3-spot of their own to keep the final outcome of the game in doubt. Heard would, then, add another run and go up 5-3… Senior Blane Parker, who started on the mound for the Trojans, would be pulled in the 6th-inning due to reaching a point in the game where the pitch count became a factor. At that point, Marc English — with his submarine pitching style — was brought in to relieve Parker, and retired the first couple of hitters that he faced… But, as the game wore-on, English was pulled from the mound for Freshman Aaron Westbury. By then the score would swell to 10-3 in favor of the Braves. But, to their credit, the Trojans competed until the last man was retired in the bottom of the 7th inning to make the final score more respectable… Heard Co. was ranked 4th in the State in the Class-AA Coaches Poll coming into the game, and withstood the Trojans efforts. Defensively, the Trojans did commit 3-errors in the game, while Heard Co. matched them with 3 of their own. Heard, however did get great defensive play from their 3rd baseman, and shortstop, to keep the Trojans from having a big inning on a couple of occasions during the contest. Tyler Cash — Heard’s #1 starter in their pitching rotation — pitched 6-strong innings for the Braves, before being relieved by Clint Lowery. There was no drop-off in the quality of pitching for Heard, when Lowery entered the game to close out the win for the Braves. Rumor had it that Cash had been nursing a sore arm for most of the season, and that Lowery had been carrying the Heard Co. team on his shoulders for most of the year. However, Cash looked healthy on Friday night, as he turned-in a solid performance on the mound for the Braves.

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