By SCOTT TYLER

H-P Sports Editor



Palestine hurler Chad Cox likes to pitch against Westwood.

For the second time this season Cox baffled the Panthers as the Wildcat hurler helped Palestine win 7-3 Friday night at the Palestine baseball field.

After earning a save while pitching 2 2/3 innings against Westwood the first time the two teams meet, Cox got the start Friday night and did not allow an earned run.

“Chad threw the ball extremely well,” Palestine head coach Jason Farrow said. “He got ahead in the count all night and had good command.”

Cox got the complete-game win, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out 10.

“This is right up there with his best performances of the season,” Farrow said. “He kept the ball down, got a lot of ground balls and he had all three offspeed pitches working.”

In 9 2/3 innings pitched against Westwood this season, Cox has not allowed an earned run while allowing eight hits and striking out 14 batters.

Palestine gave Cox an early lead as the Wildcats scored three runs in the first inning as the Wildcats put together a walk and four straight hits.

Cory Moore’s single into left field scored Gary Scoggin, but Westwood left fielder Ryan Mackie threw out Austin Daughtery at the plate for the first out of the inning.

Taylor Burris followed with a double to score Moore and David White then lined a single to left field scoring Burris.

In the third inning, Westwood would take advantage of an error to get onto the scoreboard.

With two outs, Zack Dunham hit a high pop up in the field which could not be caught, allowing John Welch — who doubled earlier in the inning — and Derric Hardy to score, cutting the Palestine lead to 3-2.

Devon Hassell followed the missed pop up with a double down the left-field line to put runners on second and third but Cox escaped when he got Clayton Thompson to hit a tapper in front of the plate, which White fielded and threw to first for the out.

The contest stayed a one-run affair until the bottom of the fifth inning when Palestine opened up the game with four runs.

Gary Scoggin used his speed to score Palestine’s fourth run as he reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second base and then when he stole third base, the throw went into left field and Scoggin hurried home beating the throw to score the run.

Austin Daughtery and Cory Moore then had back-to-back walks and Burris knocked a double into right field to score both runners giving Palestine a 6-3 lead. Burris would then score on a Westwood error off the bat of White.

Burris was 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI. Burris, a sophomore, was hitting in the fourth spot for the first time this season as Farrow moved his lineup around to get more speed at the top of the order.

“Taylor had some clutch hits for us,” Farrow said. “We made a change to the lineup and Taylor got bumped down from the third hitter to the fourth and he came through.”

Westwood would score another unearned run in the sixth inning. Devon Hassell led off with a walk and then moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt.

Clayton Thompson’s single moved Hassell to third base and he would score on an error off the bat of Randle Reeves. Thompson was 2-for-3 with\ a stolen base.

Cox worked out of the inning without any more damage as White threw out Reeves trying to steal second base for the first out of the inning. Cox would get Bruce Smith to strikeout swinging and then got a strong play at third base as Stuart Andrews charged a slow ground ball off the bat of Mackie and fired to first for the out.

“I am happy to come out with a win,” Farrow said. “Other than a couple of mistakes on defense, we played a good game.”

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Scott Tyler may be contacted via e-mail at styler@palestineherald.com

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