Yesterday afternoon & into evening, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team, hosted the Lafayette Ramblers, for the first game of what looks to be an important series in terms of region standings, Pickens, came into the series in 2nd place at 4-2, but was looking to shake off a tough series with Northwest Whitfield. The Ramblers, came in just behind the Dragons at 3-3 in the standings.
The top of the 1st saw the starter for the Dragons, Isaiah Payne, work quickly as he sat the Ramblers down on 9 pitches. Pickens, went quietly as well in the bottom of the 1st, sending us to the 2nd, still tied at 0. Payne, found himself in a little trouble in the top of the 2nd, but was able to pitch around it, and send us to the bottom of the frame. A lead off walk drawn by Jace Franklin, came back to haunt Lafayette as Caswell Smith would bring in Franklin on an RBI double, giving the Dragons a 1-0 lead, going to the 3rd.
Payne, got out of the top of the 3rd, needing only 10 pitches to send us to the bottom of the inning. Hunter Hermann, got things started in the Dragons half of the 3rd, by getting hit by a pitch, taking 2nd base on a passed pick off attempt, & scoring on an RBI single by Dylan Huffman, to make 2-0 Pickens, going to the 4th. In the top of the 4th, Payne again worked around trouble as he would strikeout two Ramblers, sending us to the bottom of the inning. The Dragons, got hits from Chad Pacas, & Tyler Vreeland in the bottom of the frame, but left runners stranded at the corners, sending us to the 5th, Pickens still ahead, 2-0.
In the top of the 5th, Lafayette cut the Dragons lead in half, as Payne got through the top half of the 5th, giving up the one run. Pickens, got a lead off double from Huffman, but were unable to bring him around, & we would head to the 6th, Dragons now leading 2-1. Cobly James would come on in relief of Payne in the top of the 6th, & needed 12 pitches, & collected 2 strikeouts to send the Dragons offense back up. A two out single by Vreeland, would be all Pickens would get in the bottom of the 6th, & we’d go to the 7th, Dragons up, 2-1.
In the top of the 7th, Lafayette, was threatening to tie the ball game up or even take the lead, loading the bases up at one point in the frame. James, was able to get out of it, with the help of some good defensive plays, to give the Dragons the narrow 2-1 win over the Ramblers.
Isaiah Payne: 5IP, 4K, 1R, 1ER, 72 pitches
Cobly James: 2IP, 3K, 0R, 0ER, 28 pitches
Dylan Huffman: 2-3 with a single, & a double, & 1 RBI
Jace Franklin: a walk, & 1 run scored
Chad Pacas: 1-3 with a single
Caswell Smith: 1-2 with a double, & 1 RBI
Tyler Vreeland: 2-3 with 2 singles
Will Lawrence: 1-3 with a single
Hunter Hermann: hit by pitch, & 1 run scored
Games 2 & 3 will be played at Lafayette in a doubleheader on Friday. First pitch for game 2 is scheduled for 4:40.