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March 18-- The J. R. Trippe Chiefs split two regular season games this week. They suffered their first loss of the season to West Laurens 5-1 on Monday at home. They traveled to East Laurens on Thursday and got back on the winning track with a comeback 13-6 win.

On Monday against West Laurens the Chiefs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Kaleb Bennett led off the bottom of the first with a single, moved to second on bunt by Andrew Norfleet who was safe at first on an error by the pitcher and scored on a single by Walker Moncus. After a fly out to the right fielder which allowed both runners to move up and Tucker McDonald getting hit by a pitch loading the bases with only one out it looked like the Chiefs might score a bunch in the first. However, a strikeout and a ground out ended the threat.

Moncus was on the mound for the Chiefs and had a no-hitter going through the fifth inning but the Chiefs could not muster any more runs themselves. The score remained 1-0 until the top of the sixth when West Laurens got a lead-off double to break up the no-hitter but with two quick outs it appeared the Chiefs would keep the lead. West Laurens had other ideas and picked up three straight singles to go ahead 2-1. Moncus led off the bottom of the sixth with a single but was stranded at second base. In the seventh West Laurens wrapped four more hits around a couple of errors to get three more runs. With the Chiefs now down 5-1 things looked bleak. Carson Ricks led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to ignite some hope but the next three Chiefs batters struck out. That gave the Chiefs their first loss of the season. Moncus led the Chief offense going 2-3 and getting the RBI.

On Thursday at East Laurens the Chiefs seemed ready to get back on the winning track as Bennett again led off the game with a single, stole second and scored on a single by Moncus. After setting down East Laurens in the first the Chiefs went right back to work in the second scoring three more runs on a single by Brantley who stole second and scored on a single by McCaw and then a big two run homer by Bennett. However, East Laurens fought back with two runs in the bottom of the second making it a 4-2 ballgame. They then held the Chiefs scoreless in the third and fourth innings while picking up four more runs themselves and taking a 6-4 lead into the fifth. In the top of the fifth the Chiefs struck for three more runs to jump back in front by a 7-6 score and shutting down East Laurens in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the sixth the Chiefs put the game out of reach with 6 more runs for a 13-6 lead. They made that score stand up by shutting down East Laurens over the next two innings for the win.

The Chiefs offense was led by Bennett 3-4 with a two run homer, three stolen bases, four runs scored and three RBIs, Banks 2-3 with three RBIs, Moncus 2-3 with two RBIs and Brantley 2-3. Banks pitched five good innings of relief to get the win.

The Chiefs will be hosting several teams over the weekend for a round robin Diamond Day event. The Chiefs will split their squad to play an A and B team with games going on at J.R. Trippe Field and the Vidalia Recreation Department Field. Next week they will be hosting Dublin on Monday and Dodge County on Thursday at J.R. Trippe Field.

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