By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor
Opening Day started with enthusiasm and competitive vigor for the Cannon County baseball team but the Lions were unable to continue that spirited approach through the remainder of the week.
The Lions (0-4) dropped a tough 6-5 setback in eight innings against Cascade in the opener Tuesday (March 11); however, the remainder of the week was not as Cannon County expected as it participated in the prestigious and always tough Grand Slam Classic.
Cannon County suffered three losses in the Classic, falling to Lebanon (18-2), Smyrna (29-2) and Clarksville NW (12-1).
"It was a tough week and a tough way to start the season but it's a long season and we just have to keep improving," said sophomore Tucker Francis, who had an exceptional first week individually. "There are positives and we have to build on those."
Positives included quality starts on the mound by Francis and Martin - both sophomores. Additionally, Francis, Trent Bragg, Jared Judkins and Jake Todd all had good games at the plate throughout the week.
The Lions lost a great opportunity to taste victory in their opener.
Francis was outstanding on the mound in his first start. The sophomore righty carried a 2-1 lead into the fifth inning when Cascade finally got to him for three runs to take a 4-3 lead and chase Francis from the mound.
"Tucker's pitch count was not bad all all," Cannon County coach Justin Fann said. "He got tired at the end, and I blame that on me as far as giving up those last runs. I left him in longer than I should. Those runs are on me, not him. Tucker pitched a great game."