Errors lead to four unearned runs as Diamond Pack falls to TCC in opener

Feb. 14—MOULTRIE — Colquitt County made two errors that led to four unearned runs and wasted nine hits in dropping its season-opener 5-0 to Thomas County Central on Wednesday on Ike Aultman Field at Jerry Croft Stadium.

Central had five hits and stole nine bases, but it was two costly infield errors by the Packers and outstanding pitching by Zach Williams, Reid Gainous, Eli Taylor and Braden Griffin that helped the Jackets open their season with a road win.

Colquitt County starter Mason Moore started the top of the third by striking out the first two Yellow Jacket batters he faced.

But the second, shortstop Brayden Payne, swung at a ball in the dirt and was forced to run to first.

The throw by Packers catcher Hayden Hembree was in time to retire Payne, but was dropped by the Packers first baseman.

Lee McCorkle, the next Yellow Jacker batter was retired on a sliding catch by Cayden Parker in right field for what should have been the final out of the inning.

But Gainous walked and Lawson Odom followed with a triple to the gap in right-center field to put the Jackets up 2-0.

Nolen Taylor followed with a line single to center and the Jackets were up by three.

Central scored its other two runs in the top of the sixth without the benefit of a hit.

With one out, Packer left-hander Cook Tompkins walked Landon Walsh, who quickly got the last of the Jackets nine stolen bases.

Drake Singletary was then hit by a pitch and the runners moved to second and third on a wild pitch.

Walsh was retired when he was thrown out at the plate by Jaxon Chambers when Marx Gaines's grounded to third.

Williams then hit a grounder to shortstop Adam Beverly, who had no play at first.

Singletary scored easily from third and Gaines raced around to score the final run when the ball got away from Beverly.

Colquitt had plenty of chances to overcome the two defensive miscues.

The Packers loaded the bases on singles by Beverly, Chambers and freshman second baseman Bryce Roberts in the third, but all three were left stranded.

Colquitt loaded the bases again with one out in the fifth when Moore and Cam Cook singled and DeRosso was hit by a pitch.

But a pop up and a fly to left ended that threat.

In the bottom of the seventh, Cook was hit by a pitch and Brady DeRosso and Beverly stroked singles to load the bases.

Freshman Bowen DeRosso nearly delivered a clutch hit, but his sinking liner to center was snared for the game's final out.

The Packers also had wasted a one-out double by Cook in the first inning.

Cook, Beverly and Chambers each had two hits. Moore, Roberts and Brady DeRosso had the others.

Moore started on the mound and was charged with three unearned runs.

He gave up the two two-out hits and three walks and struck out five.

Tompkins pitched 2.2 innings and was charged with two runs, only one of which was earned.

He walked one and struck out four.

Logan Plymel gave up the infield hit to Williams, who was erased when catcher Hayden Hembree threw him out to end the sixth inning.

Plymel got the first two outs in the top of the seventh before walking Gainous.

Hembree threw him out, too, to end the inning.

The Packers will travel to Columbus on Friday for a 5:30 p.m. single game with the Blue Devils.

On Saturday, they will bus to Hamilton for an 11 a.m. doubleheader with Harris County.

The Packers will travel to Douglas to play Coffee High at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, and will be back at Packer Park at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, to play Cairo in a game postponed last Tuesday.