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Johnson knocks off Oconee County 7-3
Knights take advantage of five Warriors errors
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OAKWOOD - Johnson's baseball team just played the role of spoiler.

With the Knights (10-11, 9-10 Region 8-AAA) a definite longshot to make the playoffs, they took down Oconee County 7-3 in 5 1/2 rain-shorted innings Friday, pushing the Warriors back into a tie with Franklin County for the all-important fourth seed that is the cutoff for making the playoffs.

The game went into a weather delay in the bottom of the sixth inning and never resumed play.

"I'm proud of how we played because whether we are out of the playoff race or not, they continue to play hard," Johnson coach Tony Wilson said. "That's a great sign for our program.

"When you're down, it's easy to drop your head but we didn't do that."

"Winning this game is a major confidence boost for our team," Johnson's Logan Pethel said.

Chris White pitched all six innings for Johnson and allowed nine hits, but was helped out by his defense that recorded double plays on sharply hit balls in the fifth and sixth inning.

Pethel broke the game wide open for the Knights with a two-run single in the first inning.

On a single to right field, the ball rolled under the Oconee County player's glove and rolled all the way to the fence, scoring junior third baseman Trae Wilson from first.

A.J. Benefield capped the four-run first inning with an RBI single that scored Pethel from second.

White and Win Griffith got on base to start the game for Johnson by reaching on infield errors by the Warriors (13-7, 12-6).

The outfield error by Oconee County was its third in the inning, and the Warriors finished with five overall.

"They made some errors and we were able to get the runners in," coach Wilson said.

In the second inning, Johnson added another runner on a fielder's choice from Pethel (2-for-3, 3 RBIs). A.J. Benefield and Griffith finished the game with three singles for the Knights.

Leading 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Johnson added its final two runs with a sharp single that bounced over the second baseman's head and scored Griffith and Trae Wilson.

On a 3-2 count, Pethel hit the sharp ground ball that hit off the lip of the infield and over the Oconee County player's head that was already down in position to field the ball.

Dustin Phillips led Oconee County at the plate with a pair of doubles. His second double of the game scored Nick Bradshaw from second base in the fourth inning.

The Warriors also scored a run on a pass ball in the third inning with runners on the corners.

Connor White added a two-out triple for Oconee County in the fifth inning.

Johnson plays host to Walnut Grove at 5:55 p.m. on Monday in Oakwood. Oconee County plays host to Gainesville at 5:55 on Monday in Watkinsville.


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