JACKSON COUNTY coach Tommy Fountain offered up an interesting stat Monday night following his team’s win over Franklin County. The Panthers are 10-0 when hitting a home run and 5-6 when they don’t.
That trend continued in the victory over the Lions.
Patrick Overstreet hit a go-ahead homer in the sixth inning, and Coleman Barbee (3-2) pitched a complete game as the Panthers (15-6) completed a sweep of Franklin County and upped their region record to 6-4.
“We’ve kind of lived by the long ball and died by the long ball this year,” Fountain said.
Overstreet, who finished 2-for-3, also singled and scored the first run of the ball game. Other offensive leaders were Andrew Fogarty (2-for-3, single, double) and Ben Brissey (1-for-3, triple, RBI).
Barbee allowed three hits and four walks and finished with 11 strikeouts as he picked up the win. The lefty, who struggled a little early on, struck out the side in the seventh inning to end the game.
“He settled down and he really did everything we asked, and I think the seventh inning was typical of that,” Fountain said.
Jackson County trailed 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth, but tied the game with an RBI triple from Brissey. Two innings later, Overstreet blasted a solo shot over the left center field wall to give Jackson County a one-run lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
“We needed somebody to come up big, and Pat did,” Fountain said. “I’m proud of Pat getting that done.”
The Panthers now begin a series with cross-county rival East Jackson Wednesday (5:55 p.m.) at home. They’ll then travel Friday for a road matchup with the Eagles, who Fountain said have improved much over the course of the season. If Jackson County can sweep that series, it puts the Panthers in a good position in the race for one of the four state playoff spots.
“We’ve got a chance to do something really special in that series, but it doesn’t happen if we don’t take care of game one,” Fountain said.
•JACKSON CO. 3, FRANKLIN CO. 1 (FRIDAY): In the series opener, Jackson County picked up a much-needed win, beating Franklin County 3-1 on the road Friday night to snap a two-game losing skid.
Jeremy Cook (3-2) pitched four shutout innings of relief for the win. He surrendered three hits and struck out four batters.
Jase Latty started and threw the first three innings before having to depart after getting drilled in the forearm with a line drive. Latty gave up one run on three hits and struck out three.
Offensively, Fogarty went 2-for-4 with a double and RBI; Nick Corso was 1-for-4 with a home run; Overstreet was 2-for-4, Colby Cole was 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored; Brissey was 1-for-3; and Latty had a double and a walk.
•NORTH OCONEE 4, JACKSON CO. 2 (APRIL 9): Jackson County suffered its first sweep of the year, losing to region opponent North Oconee again last Wednesday on the road after falling to the Titans at home April 7.
The Panthers gave up four unearned runs in the loss.
Jackson County led 2-1 in the top of the fifth, but North Oconee scored three unearned runs with two outs to pull ahead of the Panthers and pick up the win.