Cougars drop three in opening week

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The Colleton County Cougar Baseball team opened its regular season last week, dropping all three back-to-back contests. The Cougars fell to Fort Dorchester High School twice (8-1, 22-1) and to Berkeley High School (13-4).

Against Fort Dorchester Monday March 9, Warren Hunter earned the start, lasting three and a third innings, allowing three hits and four runs while striking out four. Ryan Nettles and Devar Frasier provided relief from the bullpen. Ben Kennedy, Frasier, Grayson Cromer, Nettles and Jackson Bell each collected hits in the game.

Ryan Nettles got the starting nod for the Cougars against Berkeley Tuesday March 10 at home. Nettles allowed six hits and seven runs over five innings of work. The offense collected five hits for Colleton County with Preston Breland and Nettles each recording multiple hits.

The Patriots came to town for a rematch Wednesday March 11 and took an early lead scoring two runs in the first and second and four runs in the third inning. They went on to score seven runs in both the fourth and fifth inning to put the game out of reach for Colleton County. Gabe Wolf took the loss for the Cougars, allowing 10 hits and eight runs, while striking out two. Kennedy and Huiet Rowe provided relief. Ben Crosby and Josh Caldwell had the only hits for Colleton County.

“It was a rough week for us,” said Coach Jermale Paige. “We faced defending AAAAA-Region VII and VIII champions Berkeley High School and Fort Dorchester. The difference in experience showed between us and them. Our guys are young, but they must understand in order to get to the level of where they want to be, they must compete against the best. Our guys competed at the beginning of each game, but as the game progressed, experience and depth showed in favor of Fort Dorchester and Berkeley. As a team, that’s where we are right now. We must grow from each game. Our guys will get better, but they must believe it. It will show as the season progresses.”

SCHS STATEMENT

The South Carolina High School released an COVID-19 update Monday March 16, announcing the suspension of all spring sports activities from March 16-April 5, including Colleton County. This suspension included all contests, practices, workouts (conditioning and strength training), and/or open season skill development. The SCHSL will meet via teleconference April 2 to review the status of spring sports in relation to COVID-19.

The statement said:

“In accordance with the Executive Order by Governor McMaster, all South Carolina public schools are closed until the end of March. This includes SCHSL member schools with private schools strongly encouraged to follow suit. Regarding middle and high school athletics, the South Carolina High School League is suspending all spring sport activities from March 16-April 5. This suspension includes all contests, practices, workouts (conditioning and strength training), and/or open season skill development.

“The COVID-19/Coronavirus is spreading across the state and nation with social distancing being critical to stop the spread. School athletics most certainly do not supersede the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, their families or fans.

“In order to keep our student-athletes and the education community as safe as possible, stringent measures are now in place by order of the Governor’s Office. We ask that all schools follow this executive order until further notice. We will reconvene via teleconference on April 2 to review the spring sports schedule,” said Commissioner Jerome Singleton.

“Please follow the advice of medical professionals as well as your state leaders, both educational and political. Our goal remains the same — to eradicate the COVID-19/Coronavirus and keep our citizens as healthy as possible.”

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