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War Eagles plate 25 runs; sweep Josey in doubleheader

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PCHS picks up two big region 4-AA wins

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    Putnam shortstop Logan Merritt (No. 17) takes a big swing last Friday during Putnam’s double header sweep of Josey in region 4-AA action. LEE COLEMAN/Staff
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    There is nowhere for Putnam centerfielder Gerald Kilgore (No. 2) to go as he gets caught in a rundown against Josey last Friday. LEE COLEMAN/Staff
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    Putnam County senior Brett Pettit (No. 7) kicks and fires against Josey last Friday in the War Eagles’ 13-0 run rule victory. Pettit had 10 strikeouts in five innings. LEE COLEMAN/Staff

In a baseball season where the unknowns of COVID-19 remain a constant, picking up region wins in any fashion are huge, simply because no one knows how many region wins it will take to make the postseason in 2021. No one knows how many games will actually be left to play.

The Putnam County War Eagles (5-4, 2-0) opened region 4-AA play last Friday against Josey in a doubleheader at War Eagle Park, sweeping Josey 13-0 and 12-0 under current run-rule parameters to move atop the pack in 4-AA at 2-0.

Senior Brett Pettit took the hill in the opener and pitched a one-hit shutout, striking out 10 hitters in five innings of play. In the nightcap, senior Chase Lupton retired Josey in order in the first inning but that would be all for Lupton as Putnam plated 12 runs in the bottom half of the first with only one out before the Josey coach waved the white flag and surrendered the game on the run-rule before the War Eagles finished batting for the 12-0 win.

Putnam head coach Mike Phiel commended Josey on their effort, despite having a number of key players quarantined due to COVID-19. But in an uncertain season with plenty of baseball scheduled ahead, a regionwin is a big win, despite the circumstances.

“Region wins is what it comes down to,” Phiel said. “We have seven other region opponents so we only have 14 opportunities. At this point, we don’t know how many wins it will take to make it to the postseason.

“Every region win is like a little nugget of gold. Every time you get a region win, you don’t apologize no matter how you get it.”

Last week prior to the Josey twinbill, Putnam was able to grab some valuable practice time with the exception of Tuesday due to inclement weather. Phiel noted the hitting repetitions, bullpen work and numerous defensive drills as being the highlights of the week of practice. That could bode well for Putnam with four games in five days that started Monday.

“We had a good week of practice and got some good work in,” he said. “We’ll be working on setting up our pitching rotation for next Friday.”

After Monday’s road game at Monticello, Putnam will host Mt. de Sales Academy on Wednesday and will host a region doubleheader on Friday against Glenn Hills.