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Tharptown baseball opens season with 12-2 road victory against Belgreen

By Staff
Slade Gilmer
For the FCT
BELGREEN – The Tharptown baseball team got a strong performance from its pitching staff in a 12-2 win against Belgreen on Tuesday.
Jacob Parker, Brandon Cothrum and Zack Sockwell combined on a six-hitter, striking out 14 in the win.
"I was really pleased with our pitching," said Tharptown baseball coach Derek Ergle. "(Parker and Cothrum) are both just 10th graders."
Parker started the first three innings, giving up four hits while striking out six and giving up two runs. Cothrum – who picked up the win – pitched the next three innings, striking out six while allowing only two hits and a walk. Sockwell closed out the game, striking out two and allowing no hits or walks.
The Wildcats took advantage of some Belgreen miscues in the first to take an early 3-0 lead. Kelby Hallmark got the first hit of the season for the Wildcats, advanced to second on a bad throw and came home on Trevor Hallmark's RBI single.
Trevor Hallmark scored on an error two batters later, and Sockwell came home on an error two batters after that to close out the scoring in the first inning.
Tharptown added to their lead in the second. Devin Lawson walked to lead off the inning, and stole second. He came home after a passed ball to give Tharptown a 4-0 lead.
Belgreen got on the board in the bottom half of the second. Parker struck the first two Bulldog batters out before Cody Glasgow punched a single to right, moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt and scored on Josh DeVaney's RBI single.
Tharptown answered with two runs in the top of the third. Brandon Cothrum led off the inning with a double, stole third, and came home on an RBI groundout from Sockwell. Wade Berryman then walked, and came around to score on a passed ball later in the inning.
Belgreen added a run in the bottom of the third. Parker hit William Washington, who then moved to second on a balk, and scored on Brandon Hester's RBI single.
Tharptown again responded with two runs. Kelby and Trevor Hallmark led off the inning with singles, and both came home on passed balls.
Tharptown put the game away in the seventh inning, scoring four runs. Parker led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on Kelby Hallmark's strikeout and scored on a passed ball. Trevor Hallmark then walked, Cothrum was awarded first after being hit by a pitch, and Sockwell also walked.
Wade Berryman grounded out to second to drive Trevor Hallmark in. Cothrum and Sockwell scored on Mackinley Flannagin's two-run double to close out the scoring.
For the Wildcats, Kelby Hallmark led the way with three hits – all singles. Trevor Hallmark and Brandon Cothrum added two hits apiece, while Flannagin and Nathan Gray each added a hit for Tharptown.
Hester led Belgreen with two singles in three at-bats and an RBI. DeVaney added a hit and an RBI, while Washington, Trent Edwards and Glasgow each recorded a single for the Bulldogs.
Hester took the loss for the Bulldogs, going 31/3 innings, giving up six runs while striking out two.