CAIRO — The Cairo Syrupmakers had a victorious return to the baseball diamond Friday night. Playing officially for the first time since COVID-19 ended their season a year ago, the Syrupmakers' Caison Faircloth singled with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Syrupmakers past the Bulldogs 5-4.

“It was awesome just to be out there and play a game, play an awesome game,” Cairo coach Chad Parkerson said. “Not just talking about last night's game, just the game of baseball. Last night was a good game, too.”

Thomasville led 4-0 after a three-run fifth inning. But Cairo responded with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie it 4-4. It stayed that way until the 10th inning.

Faircloth, Will Prince, Conner Morrell, Max Windham and Christian Maige collected RBIs for the Syrupmakers, who won despite striking out 14 times and committing three errors.

“We got sloppy a little bit. I called a stupid little pick-off play. It was 100% my fault,” Parkerson said. “The boys bailed me out.”

Last season was a bitter end to a potentially sweet finish to the Syrupmakers' season. When the season was halted on March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Syrupmakers were 13-4 and had won six straight. That team also had six seniors.

This year's squad rebounded from a 4-0 defeat in its preseason scrimmage against Lowndes.

Pitching was outstanding for the Syrupmakers. Faircloth and Will Prince each pitched five innings. Faircloth struck out eight and allowed just one earned run. Prince struck out six and allowed just one hit and no runs.

Jacob Jordan pitched 4 1/3 innings for the Bulldogs and allowed just one hit, four walks and six strikeouts. Gabe Duncan fanned six in three innings for the Bulldogs. He also collected three hits in the leadoff position.

Will Wetherington and Mason Beckham each had RBIs for Thomasville.

Cairo will play again on Monday at Berrien. Thomasville (1-1) will play at Bainbridge on Tuesday.

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