It had been almost a month to the day since Thomas County Central added a tally to the win column.
That skid, which reached eight games dating back to Feb. 28, ended after Tuesday’s 11-8 home win over Lowndes.
“It felt like a big ‘ole dang gorilla jumped off our backs,” Central coach Chad Parkerson said. “It was just nice to see the guys share a few hugs and smiles.”
Central capitalized off three errors and sporadic pitching, and jumped to a 7-0 lead through the first two innings. The Jackets loaded the bases after Jonathan Robinson walked on four pitches, then capped its final score on a sacrifice fly from catcher Alex Dukes.
Lowndes responded with a five run outing in the ensuing inning to trim the lead to two, but Central was able to hold the Vikings scoreless until a last-ditch effort in the seventh.
“When you’ve got a lead, you can start playing aggressive,” Parkerson said. “When you’re down, those baserunners are so precious; you don’t want to be as risky. With [the early cushion], we were able to put more runners in motion, hit and run and that kind of stuff to put more pressure on the defense.”
Speaking of, Central’s four pitchers – Robinson, Cooper Mayhall Stone Stephenson and Eli Taylor, who earned the win – allowed just seven hits while throwing ten strikeouts.
Parkerson said he pitched through nearly his entire rotation to save arms for Friday’s region game against Harris County – its second doubleheader of the year.
“We wanted not to spend anybody too bad,” Parkerson said. “We kind of kept a close eye on all of them. ... The best thing I saw from our pitchers tonight was that they all kind of got themselves into james, which as a coach, you don’t like to see, but they were all able to get themselves out of it.”
The coach, who called the skid one of the toughest in his ten years at Central, said there was no post-game celebration.
“Not tonight. We’ve got to get back at it tomorrow,” Parkerson said while noting he was looking forward to smiles awaiting from his anxious daughters.
Central (5-9, 0-7) will practice Wednesday and Thursday in hopes to notch its first region win of the season on Friday.