Roanoke… Playing arguably their best game of the season, the Pulaski Co. Cougars defeated the Cave Spring Knights 3-2. The Cougars got a great pitching performance from senior Grant Osteen as he tossed a complete game, five-hitter. The senior gave up two runs on three hits in the first inning. He then settled down and gave up just two hits the remainder of the game. He helped his own cause at the plate as he scored a run and knocked in one.
The Cougars jumped on the Knights starter, Trey Hodson as they scored all three of their runs in the top of the first. Jon Osteen got things started with a single. Kam Hall then singled but was erased on an Andrew Lowe fielder’s choice, with Osteen moving to third. Then Grant Osteen singled his brother in. Camden Underwood singled and Nathanael Remington singled in Lowe. Dylan Danner also singled to score Grant Osteen for a three run uprising and only one out with the bases loaded. The next two batters would fly to shallow right and strike out leaving the bases loaded.
Cave Spring then answered with two runs in their half of the first with two outs. Hudson would double off the left field fence and Cameron Caldwell would do the same, scoring Hodson. Grant Wilson would single to score Caldwell, but Osteen got Zack Ward to ground out.
The Cougars would leave the bases loaded again in the third inning. The Knights would change pitchers and would get another hit the last four innings off of Justin Larkin.
This game became more and more intense as the Knights would leave the bases loaded in the sixth, but once again Osteen would get an out on a grounder. The bottom of the seventh would have its own drama after the first batter for Cave Spring would fly out to right. Larkin would reach on a hard shot, but an error on the Cougars. Lead-off man Steven Cacciatore then drew a walk. Jake Furrow came up and hit a rope back to Osteen who had the ball hit his pitching hand thumb. The ball went to his brother Jon at short. Jon would flip the ball to Danner at second for the second out. Cougar head coach Jared King and the umps would go check on Osteen as he pitched a couple throws to the plate and said he was all right. Hudson came up to bat. On Osteen’s first pitch, Furrow stole second base. With Larkin on third and Furrow on second to tie and win the game with two outs, Osteen reached back and found a little extra power then finished up striking out Hodson to end the game. The Cougars went wild.
Cougar head coach Jared King remarked, ”What a great performance from Grant Osteen today. I couldn’t have pried the ball from his hand to get that last out after he got hit on his throwing hand if I would have tried. He is one mentally tough kid; he’s our leader. What a gutsy performance.“ Coach then added, ”I’m so proud of the guys. We came here after playing bad the last two home games, and they played their hearts out today. I’m so happy for them.“
The Cougars (6-7-1) also had to use sophomore catcher Trent Blankenship behind the plate up from the junior varsity. Lowe, the regular catcher, had been feeling bad late in the game Tuesday at home and wasn’t fully recovered. When asked about Blankenship at catcher Coach King said, ”We had to use Trent at catcher out of necessity. He did a marvelous job for us behind the plate. He also reached base twice. This was a big win for us to say the least.”
The Cougars will be back in action Tuesday as they play Hidden Valley at Cougar Field. First pitch is slated for 5 pm.
R H E LOB
Pulaski Co. 3 9 2 9
Cave Spring 2 5 1 7
Pulaski Co. 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 -3
Cave Spring 2 0 0 0 0 0 0-2
Pulaski Co. – WP- G.Osteen – ( 3-0)
Cave Spring- LP- Hodson