The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

April 8, 2013

Cougars lose final game of classic

Sports Correspondent

TARBORO — Third-year SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars coach Tommy Tolson saw some good things and other parts of the game that he wants his team to work on. But his overall view on the Cougars performance in the classic was positive.

The Cougars lost their final game of the Classic 5-2 Friday in eight innings to Jefferson Forest, but it didn't come with an extra effort from Tolson's squad.

"I was tickled to death at how we played today," Tolson said. "We stayed focused the whole game and played a great team. We did a good job offensively."

The Cougars offense didn't bow down to the Cavaliers Division 1 signee JB Breeden. He is signed to play baseball next season at Liberty University. The Cougars pounded out five hits and scored two runs on Breeden.

Justin Letchworth held his own on the mound. He threw a complete game eight innings and gave up just six hits and five runs. He walked two and struck out two.

"Justin did a great job for us today," Tolson said. "He hit his locations and made great pitches. He kept us in the game to win."

The Cougars were knotted 2-2 going into the top of the eighth. With one out, Letchworth gave up a walk and then got the next batter to hit into a fielder's choice. With two outs, Letchworth walked his second batter of the inning. Ryan Crist then hit a ground ball to shortstop and Jarratt Mobley made a wide throw and Crist collided with Chris Owens at first base and there was a questionable call and the runner was called safe. WIth the bases loaded, Taylor Bell hit a deep fly ball to center field and the ball deflected off the top of Connor Briley's glove and three runs scored.

"I like the mentality that we brought to the game but we just had a let down in thew eighth," Tolson said. "Our defense played well today it is just unfortunate that the ball was missed in center."

Nick Webb scored the only two runs for the Cougars. He drew a walk in the first and was sacrificed over by Letchworth and Mobley drove him in with a single to right field. Webb scored again in the third after hitting a single, Justin Rodriguez drove him in on a base hit.

The Cougars led the majority of the game and played up to Tolson's expectations. He has been pleased with his team's overall performance the last four games and hopes the Cougars can build off of it.

SouthWest is back in action Tuesday when they host Kinston at 7 p.m.