Chris Goltermann - cowetascore.com
Campbell’s baseball team may already be tired of seeing pitchers from Coweta County.
In three games so far, the Spartans have been held to one run while unable to manage any in Wednesday’s first meeting against East Coweta at home.
The Indians rode six strong innings from sophomore Austin Bunn in a 6-0 shutout victory.
Newnan junior Jaxon O’Neal, meanwhile, turned in a gem of his own for the Cougars in their first major test of the Region 2-7A schedule at Westlake.
The left-hander struck out 12 over five innings and Newnan broke a tie with four runs in the top of the seventh en route to a 5-1 victory to remain in a first-place tie with East Coweta for first place.
Westlake southpaw Jaylen Nowlin did his part to keep the Cougars in check early, striking out six including the side in the first.
The Lions struck first with its only run in the fifth, aided by a leadoff triple before O’Neal caught three straight batters looking. Newnan then went to work at tying the game with help from Hamilton Schubert’s leadoff walk.
O’Neal finally gave way in the sixth to Newnan reliever Jake Martin, who received some clutch help defensively to get out of a bases-loaded jam. Jacob Blair’s scoop of a ball in the dirt provided a game-saving play for the third out while preventing a run.
The Cougars turned the momentum into a four-run seventh inning that began with hits from seniors Nick Bowie and Hunter White led off with hits and an ensuing squeeze by senior Karston Dye that was botched by the Lions, allowing two go-ahead runs to score.
Newnan put the game away after Will Wilbanks drew a bases-loaded walk and an RBI single by Elliott Schubert, who went 2-for-4.
Martin, despite allowing two walks and a single, held Westlake scoreless on just one hit in two innings of relief, added four strikeouts to give the Cougars (9-4, 3-0) a combined 16 on the mound while retiring his final five batters in order.
improving to 9-4 overall and 3-0 in region play.
At Campbell, meanwhile, the Spartans had no answers for East Coweta’s Austin Bunn in six shutout innings of work. The sophomore allowed two hits, striking out five while keeping the Indians ahead 1-0 through five innings.
After adding an insurance run in the sixth, junior catcher Ryan Dyal connected on a two-run homer in the seventh that highlighted a four-run seventh, putting the game out of reach.
Caleb Cashion and JJ Freed also added RBIs in the win, while Bryan Crow pitched a scoreless seventh to complete the shutout win.
East Coweta, now 7-4 and 3-0 in the 2-7A standings, travels to Griffin on Thursday before hosting Campbell on Friday.
Cougars 5, Lions 1
Newnan 000 001 4 — 5 6 1
Westlake 000 010 0 — 1 2 2
WP - Jaxon O’Neal
Indians 6, Spartans 0
East Coweta 100 001 4 — 6 7 2
Campbell 000 000 0 — 0 3 3
WP - Austin Bunn
HR - Ryan Dyal (7th, 1 on)