As the sun dropped Monday evening, Austin High baseball coach Paul Averitt stood near the Black Bears’ dugout with his arms folded.
Austin pulled ahead in the bottom of the second, but it took three more innings until things came together for the Black Bears.
When things fell into place, they didn’t disappoint. Five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning put Austin past Lawrence County 6-0 to open a doubleheader.
“We made some mental mistakes at the plate and running. Once they put it all together, they did well,” Averitt said after Game 1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Chase Colon bunted safely before Terry Sibley doubled with a line drive to left field. Peyton Miller singled to left field, scoring pinch-runner Seth Richardson and Sibley.
Austin (3-2) turned it up. Senior Chris Fail singled to left to score pinch-runner Daniel Gaietto, and Chris Sparkman singled to center, scoring Dylan Jones. Riley Camp scored the final run of the game on an error.
Fail led Austin from the mound, striking out five through five innings before Jimmy Pritchett, a junior, pitched in relief. Fail also had three hits.
“This is our fifth game, so we’re still working some kinks out,” Averitt said. “When everybody does their job, when they’re where they’re supposed to be and doing what they’re supposed to be doing, everything works out.”
Derrick Adams singled in Camp for the game’s first run.
“We just weren’t here today.” said Lawrence County coach Jason Goodwin. “The fundamentals were there for Austin. They put the ball in play when they needed to and we didn’t.”
Jeffrey Reed pitched three innings for Lawrence County (3-3), while Preston Montgomery and Zachary Nichols pitched in relief.
Austin plays Sparkman on Saturday, while Lawrence County visits Decatur today.
Meredith Qualls can be reached at 256-340-2395 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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