The Moore County Middle School baseball team saw its season come to an end on Monday as the Raiders lost to Liberty 12-6 in the Duck River Valley Conference Tournament. The Raiders matched Liberty nearly hit for hit — the Patriots outhit the Raiders 13-12 — and kept their errors to a minimum, but couldn’t get the timely hitting they needed to keep their season alive.
Liberty took advantage of a big third inning, during which the Patriots scored seven runs, to dash any hopes the Raiders had of advancing.
The Patriots took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but MCMS answered with two runs in the second to close the gap. Moore County knotted the contest at 3-all in the top of the third, only to see the Liberty offense explode in the home half of the inning.
Trailing 10-3 after a scoreless fourth and fifth inning, Moore County managed to plate three runs in the sixth. Liberty tacked on two more in the bottom of the sixth.
The loss ends Moore County’s season with a 9-9 record.
“It has been great watching these boys play and seeing them grow on and off the field,” said Moore County head coach Darren James. “They now know how to win and have tasted some success. There’s a lot of potential in this group.
“I hate to lose these 8th-graders, but I am very proud of them. I am anxious to see how much they develop and how this very talented 7th-grade group does as well.”
Jimmy Stewart and Ethan Holt, both 8th-graders, had monster games at the plate for Moore County. They each went 3-for-4, with Stewart adding a double and two RBIs. Holt had one RBI. Clay Burnett, Coy Cashion, Cameron Pykiet, Matthew Schuller, Jess Smith and Hunter Brown each had one hit apiece.
The Raiders used four pitchers, with Holt taking the mound second in relief of Blayne Cashion. Holt was saddled with the loss. Walks were a problem for Moore County, as the four hurlers combined to issue nine free passes.
Last week, Moore County picked up a 13-4 win over Westwood. Tristian Whitaker earned the win on the hill, working 4 2/3 innings, while striking out five on Friday, April 18.
Burnett was 4-for-5 at the plate and Stewart went 3-for-4 as the Raiders pounded out 14 hits. Whitaker, Coy Cashion and Brown each had multiple hits.
On April 16, the Raiders dropped a one-run decision to Cornersville, falling 5-4 in extra innings. Coy Cashion pitched seven-plus innings, but took the loss after a solid outing on the mound. He fanned six batters, walked four and gave up five runs on just four hits.