By BOBBY WITT/Courier Contributor
Cannon County freshman Graden Strang played like a veteran in the Lions’ 5-3 wiin against Community Friday (April 26).
Strang earned his second career win with a complete-game, one-hitter. He struck out five.
For good measure, Strang was also 1-for-3 at the plate with a two-run double.
“Graden has played well and he has improved as the season has unfolded,” Lions coach Tony Stinnett said. “Graden was kind of thrown to the fire this year and he has stepped up and performed well, much like Nick Vassar did as a freshman last year. We have several young players who have been difference makers.”
The Lions (8-18-1) notched their eighth win against Community (16-12), marking the most wins for Cannon County since the 2005 Lions won 14.
It was a team effort.
With four senior starters missing due to Senior Trip week, Cannon County put a young squad on the field.
The youngsters delivered.
Six different Lions had base hits. Trent Bragg was 1-for-2 with a RBI. Austin Martin and Jared Judkins were 1-for-2, Strang was 1-for-3 and Vassar was 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
Strang pitched five innings of no-hit baseball before surrendering a leadoff hit in the sixth.
Cannon County went on top 1-0 in the first when Jake Todd reached and came around to score on Trent Bragg’s two-out single.
The Lions broke the game open with a four-run second.
It was an impressive exhibition as all of the action came with two outs.
Martin delivered a two-out single and six Lions reached in succession.
Judkins followed Martin’s hit with a single of his own. Vassar delivered a RBI single and Todd reached to set the table for Strang, who delivered a two-run double to put the Lions on top 5-0.
Community was held hitless and scoreless until the bottom of the sixth when the Vikings finally got off the deck for three runs, two unearned, before the Lions sealed the win.