Madison County’s diamond Raiders bounced back from a three-game skid this past week with a come-from-behind win April 2 against Habersham Central.
Brock Turner struck out 13 batters in seven innings of work as the Madison County defeated the Habersham Raiders 5-4, improving to 6-8 overall and 4-3 in the region.
Though this week is spring break in Danielsville, the baseball squad doesn’t get any time off. The Raiders were scheduled to face Habersham Wednesday in Mt. Airy Wednesday. They’ll then host Heritage Friday before traveling to Clarke Central Monday and hosting the Gladiators Wednesday, April 11.
The Raiders’ win Monday didn’t come easily.
Habersham posted two runs in each the second and third innings to take a 4-1 lead. Madison County struck for the game’s first run after Daniel Townsend opened the home half of the first inning by reaching on an error. Townsend later touched home after Turner helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Habersham then took advantage of a Madison County error to lead off their half of the second inning. Michael Long reached on an infield error and ended up scoring two batters later on a past ball. Ryan Smith, who struck out, ended up reaching first after Turner’s third strike pitch got away from Raider catcher Bo Hardman. Smith later scored on a single to right field by Patrick Taylor. Things couldn’t have been worse in the inning but Turner, who threw 25 pitches in the inning, retired the next two Habersham batters with two runners left on base.
Habersham took advantage of another Raider miscue in the third inning. Turner struck out Alex Smith to open the inning, but Smith ended up at first on another past ball. Brandon Moore entered the game to pinch run for Smith and came home for Habersham’s third run on a hit from Michael Long. Long scored the final Habersham run of the game on an infield hit off the bat of Ryan Smith.
Habersham’s 4-1 lead didn’t hold up as Madison County answered with three runs in the bottom of the third inning to tie the game at 4-4. Alex Jordan led off the inning by dropping in a base hit to short left field. Ethan Smith followed by drawing a walk and Daniel Townsend loaded the sacks with a single to center but was forced out on a fielder’s choice from Daniel Brooks. Both Jordan and Smith crossed home on the same play to cut the lead to one run. Brooks was later cut down trying to steal second base, but Turner struck again by reaching on an infield hit to shortstop. Bo Hardman followed with a double to the gap in left center field, driving home pinch runner Wesley Jordan with the game tying run. The Raiders were unable to do any more damage in the inning despite a walk to Logan Pace and Zeke Smallwood’s pass to first after being hit by a pitch the loaded the bases.
Habersham tried to jump back out in front in the fifth inning after Dalton Murray reached on a hit and swiped second. Murray was left stranded after Turner struck out three of the next four batters he face to end the inning. Madison County then put the finishing touches on the win in the home half of the fifth inning. Brooks lined a double to left field and advanced to third on a bunt single by Turner. Brooks ended up crossing the plate on a wild pitch for what ended up being the deciding run.
Jordan and Turner led the Raiders at the plate with two hits each followed by a hit each from Brooks, Hardman, Hayden Frey and Daniel Townsend. Turner went the distance on the hill allowing four runs on five hits with just one walk. The Raider senior is now 3-3 on the year with a stellar ERA under .5.
Madison County dropped three games last week, including a 2-1 setback at Winder March 28. Madison County’s lone run in the game came in the top of the fourth inning when Smallwood, a courtesy runner for Bo Hardman, who reached on a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored as the Bulldog catcher tried to gun down Will McCarty at second on a steal attempt.
Turner took the loss for Raiders, giving up two runs — one earned — in six innings, while scattering four hits, fanning 10 and walking two.
Madison County bats were quiet Wednesday, with Ethan Smith smacking the Raiders’ lone hit in the game.
VS. ROCKDALE COUNTY
Madison County dropped its third-straight game Friday at Rockdale, 13-5, blowing a 2-1 lead in the fifth by allowing five runs in that inning and seven in the sixth.
Jordan took the loss for Madison County, giving up five runs and four hits in one inning. Lee Griffeth started for Madison County and pitched three scoreless innings, scattering three hits while striking out two.
The Raiders jumped ahead 1-0 on a first-inning RBI double by Brooks. Turner then ripped an RBI double in the third. Hayden Frey and Logan Pace drove in one run each in the sixth on singles. And Brooks tripled in the seventh, then scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Turner in the seventh for the Raiders’ final run.
Brooks was 3-for-4 Friday, falling a home run shy of the cycle. Turner was 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs. Jordan was 3-for-4. Frey was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Pace was 1-for-1 with an RBI.