Cottondale baseball picks up first regular season winWritten by Shelia Mader
Cottondale traveled to Altha last week to take on the Wildcats in search of their first regular season win and they found just what the doctor ordered. They handed the young Wildcats a 15-3 loss behind the pitching of Avery Burkett and Jude Haser. Burkett got the starting nod on the bump and went five innings, gave up one run on six hits, one walk and fanned seven batters. Haser went the final two innings, gave up two runs on two hits, three walks and struck out five batters.
Cottondale put two runs on the board in the first inning, starting with a leadoff single by Caleb Nix. Nix stole second before Jordan Braxton drew a walk. Savoric Williams sacrificed the runners to second and third with Mason Jones singling to score Nix. Braxton scored on a passed ball before Avery Burkett singled and stole second and with two outs, Brent Hicks drew a walk. Brandon Early reached on an error but a groundout left the bases loaded.
Cottondale plated a trio of runs in the second to go up 6-0 over the Wildcats. Caleb Nix started inning two on a repeat of inning one. Nix moved to second on a single by Jordan Braxton and with one out, both runners scored on a double by Mason Jones. Avery Burkett drew a walk, followed by Austin Grissett reaching on an error. Brent Hicks sacrificed the runners to scoring position. Brandon Early walked to load the bases but no runs crossed the plate.
Three was good the first two innings so Cottondale opted for another three in the third, making it a 9-0 game. Logan Pumphrey led off with a walk and stole second before Caleb Nix and Jordan Braxton drew back-to-back walks. Savoric Williams walked in a run for a cheap-o RBI before Mason Jones picked up two RBIs on a double to left centerfield. Avery Burkett drew a walk but three flyouts followed to end the inning.
Goose eggs were the name of the game in the fourth inning for both teams. Cottondale had a double by Caleb Nix for their only offense. Both teams plated a run in the fifth inning. Mason Jones went yard on the second pitch he saw from the leadoff position and watched it sail over the centerfield fence. With two outs, Brent Hicks singled to center but was left on first when the final batter struck out.
In the sixth it was again an equal opportunity inning with both teams putting up two runs. Jude Haser led of with a walk and with two outs, scored on a passed ball. Savoric Williams took advantage of an error and stole second before Mason Jones drew a walk. Eriq Hendricks reached on an error that scored Williams before a strikeout ended the inning.
Cottondale added three runs in the top of the seventh. Brandon Early doubled and scored on a single by Jude Haser. With one out, Caleb Nix took one for the team and with two outs, Savoric Williams singled to load the bases. Cason Holley took the not-so-easy way to pick up an RBI when he was hit by a pitch that scored Haser, followed by Nix crossing the plate on a passed ball. Altha was shut down in the seventh with only a one-out walk offensively, sealing the Hornets a win.