Stone Memorial Sweeps Livingston Behind Timely Offense

by Rusty Ellis

The Stone Memorial Panthers earned their second win in as many days over Livingston Academy, as they defeated the Wildcats 10-5 in Crossville on Wednesday.

Unlike the previous meeting, the Panthers got their offense going right away thanks to a pair of LA errors in the first inning. By the time LA starter Zach Cotterman recorded three outs, Stone Memorial held a 3-0 lead.

Carson Parrott took the mound in relief in the second inning, and the Panthers scored another run on an Parrott error on a Wade Wilson bunt. After LA finally scratched across a run on an Aaron Moffitt RBI infield single, Stone quickly answered back in the bottom of the third on an RBI sac bunt by Rayce Boston.

Livingston began to make some meaningful cuts into the deficit in the fourth inning, as Dawson Ledbetter drove home the second run of the game for the Wildcats with an RBI single to centerfield. After Parrott sat down the Panthers in order in the home half of the inning, LA put together their best inning of the night to tie the game at five.

Parrott, Ledbetter and Tashawn Hayes all used RBI singles to knot the score up at 5-5, but Stone quickly responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to an RBI single from Boston and an RBI double by Wilson.

After reliever Nick Osmun held LA scoreless in the top of the sixth, Stone Memorial pulled away with three more runs in the bottom of the inning to earn the sweep over Livingston by a 10-5 final.

For head coach Trent Stokes, he knows how tough of a team his squad just took down, and he knows it took great play up-and-down the lineup to get the job done.

“Two close games, and they never gave up,” Stokes said. “That’s the way we wanted to start the season. Get a sweep and get out ahead of the district, and set the tone for our team and where we want to be.”

Freshman catcher Talyn Hurd came through with a big hit in the three-run sixth inning, as his two-run double put the score out of reach for the Panthers. For Stokes, he says the freshman is making it really hard for him to take him out of the lineup.

“For a freshman to come out like that and right out of the gate, be a main factor in the game, that’s (impressive),” Stokes said. “We wanted to ease him in and put him in some places for some confidence, but through preseason and everything else, he did everything he had to do to make sure we weren’t taking him out of that lineup, and he’s been a real sparkplug for us.”

Over these last two games, Stokes says he’s seeing a lot of grit in how his team plays, and that’s what he was hoping for.

“Even in the preseason, we would get down, and they don’t ever give up,” Stokes said. “They just keep fighting…Our pitchers have pitched out of some tough situations, and came through throwing strikes in some big moments.”

Livingston will hit the road to Jamestown to take on York Institute on Thursday, while Stone will head to Bledsoe County.


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