WITH STORM clouds rolling in Friday during the second contest of the Jackson County-East Jackson baseball series, the Panthers’ Quinn Grogan did his part to speed the game up.
Grogan threw a five-inning complete game and hit a fourth-inning grand slam in Jackson County’s 13-2, run-rule shortened win over the rival Eagles.
Grogan’s blast broke the game open, giving Jackson County (8-6, 4-4) an 8-2 lead.
“Quinn hits the grand slam and the wheels come off (for East Jackson),” Jackson County coach Tommy Fountain said.
Grogan also earned his first career varsity win, throwing all five innings. He allowed two runs, four hits and walked one, while hitting two batters and striking out two.
“He pitched to contact and we were making plays,” Fountain said.
This was Jackson County’s second run-rule win over East Jackson (2-9, 1-5) in three days.
The game followed a plot line similar to Jackson County’s Wednesday 12-2 victory over the Eagles with one inning turning a close game into a rout.
The Panthers trailed 2-1 before bringing 13 batters to the plate in the top of the fourth and collecting 10 hits in the 10-run inning.
Grogan didn’t have the only big hit.
Chase Dunlap batted twice in the extended inning, doubling in both plate appearances and driving home four runs.
“He really needed a breakout night like that … We’ll take it all in one inning,” Fountain said.
Nick Corso and Trey Sorrells added RBIs during the fourth.
East Jackson scored its two runs in the first inning after Jake Grindle singled and the ball was misplayed in the outfield. Jackson County got on the board in the third inning with an RBI single from Andy Williams.
Jackson County now prepares for a two-game series with subregion leader North Oconee. The opener is Monday in Bogart. The teams then play Wednesday at Jackson County.
Fountain said this will be a big series for the fourth-place Panthers.
“All the marbles are on the table,” Fountain said. “We’ve got all our pitching ready for North Oconee.”