By VAN HOLLAND
PINETOPS – Brayden Morris was on top of his game Friday night when he took the mound for the SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars. He threw a complete game shutout to help lead his Cougars to a 2-0 victory against the Farmville Central Jaguars in Eastern Plains Conference action.
Morris only allowed two hits, while walking two and striking out seven.
"Brayden threw a gem for us," Cougars coach Tommy Tolson said. "He hit his spots well and got his pitches over when he needed to. I am glad to see he had complete command of his pitches."
Morris kept the Jaguar hitters off balance with his off-speed pitches and made the right pitches are the right times. The two hits Morris gave up came in the fourth inning when the Jaguars tried make something happen. With runners on second and third and one out in the inning, Morris took control and struck out Matt Riggs. The next batter grounded out to the first baseman and Morris got out of the jam.
Morris had to work out of another jam in the fifth inning. He struck out the lead off batter, but hit Ty Drake and tghen walked Ricky Hammill. Morris then struck out Alex Strickland and then he walked Mike Teel to load the bases. Tolson made a trip to the mound to settle Morris down. The talked worked, because Morris got the next Jaguars hitter to hit a ground ball to Jarratt Mobley at shortstop. Mobley backhanded the ball in the hole and made a strong throw to get the runner at first and end the Jaguars threat.
The Cougars are in fine fashion now, because they have three games in a row and improve to 3-3 and are 1-0 in conference.
"I was impressed with this win for our team," Tolson said. "These guys are capable of winning games like this and have set goals to do things like this."
Tolson thought with the way Morris was throwing, if the Cougars could just score one run they would be alright. His team answered for him and added and extra run in the sixth inning. Mobley reached on an error by the shortstop. Then Justin Rodriguez hit a deep fly ball and Teel caught the ball on the fence. With two outs, Hunter Johnson came through once again for the Cougars. He hit a double in the right center gap and scored Mobley. Johnson stole third on the first pitch to Stephen Thompson. Then with a 2-1 count, Thompson hit a ground ball to second and the second baseman made a throwing error which allowed Johnson to score and Thompson reached first to give the Cougars the 2-0 lead.
"We made things happen at the right times,"Tolson said. "Hunter came through with a big hit for us with two outs and then Stephen put it in play to get the second run across for us."
Tolson said the key to the game was each player doing their job no matter what it may be. He was pleased with his team's overall performance.
The Cougars are back in action Tuesday when they travel to play North Pitt at 7 p.m.