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Griffith's complete game anchors Johnson
First complete game outing for a Knights pitcher this season
Johnson's Taylor Whitmire tries to make it to first before the throw to Lumpkin County's Avery Ross on Friday in Oakwood. The Knights won 9-1. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

OAKWOOD - Win Griffith helped put Johnson's pitching staff back at full strength with his complete game outing on Friday against Lumpkin County.

Following Wednesday's rain out against Lanier, Knights coach Tony Wilson knows that he'll need a good supply of fresh arms with three games over the next five days, starting against Lanier at 3 p.m. today.

Griffith didn't overpower Indians hitters with his velocity, but did a nice job changing speeds on his curveball, along with hitting the strike zone with his fastball and change-up for the Knights in a 9-1 win.

Over the course of seven innings, Griffith only allowed six Lumpkin County batters to reach base and allowed four hits. He finished the game with eight strikeouts.

"Win was super all night long," Wilson said. "He had command of all three pitches and did a good job changing speeds on his curveball."

After allowing a first-inning double by Lumpkin County's Chase Grizzle, Griffith settled down and didn't allow another hit until the fifth inning.

Not only was it the first complete game of Griffith's career, but also the first for a Johnson (3-3, 2-2 Region 8-AAA) pitcher this season.

He wasn't expecting such success against Lumpkin County (1-4, 1-4), especially considering the lingering pain in his shoulder after pitching against West Hall last week.

Griffith muscled through the discomfort, throwing 100 pitches, and getting some good defensive play from his infield to keep Lumpkin County runners off the bases.

Griffith had one of Johnson's defensive gems when he charged off the mound toward the plate, fielded the ball and fired the ball to first base in time for the out.

Meanwhile, five defensive errors contributed to seven of Johnson's runs. Leading 6-1 with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, the Knights cleared the bases when a fly ball was misplayed by a Lumpkin County outfielder.

The Knights had two runners in scoring position after a pair of Indians errors in the fourth inning, when junior third baseman Trae Wilson delivered a two-run single.

Johnson had the bases loaded in the second inning for Wilson, but he grounded out that time around to end the possibility of a big inning.

"Trae shortened up on his swing with the RBI single and did a good job of going with the pitch," said coach Wilson, Trae's father.

Logan Pethel had an RBI single for the Knights in the first inning. In the third, Cody Lewallen came through with a two-out RBI single to score courtesy runner Corey Collins.

Lumpkin County scored its only run with an RBI on a ground out from John Harris.

Today, Chris White will take the mound for the Knights, with a full battery of relievers ready to come in, if necessary. Lumpkin County hosts North Hall at 5:55 p.m. on Monday in Dahlonega.


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