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April 15, 2014

Phillips’ pitching gives CHS hope in loss

VELMA — In a 4-0 loss Saturday, No. 11 Central High stood toe to toe with No. 4 Sterling in the Jake Leffler Wooden Bat Tournament final.

Sophomore Cooper Phillips pitched a complete game for the Bronchos (16-7), allowing just one earned run, five hits and no walks. Coach Jeff Jones said with the team’s usual production, the Bronchos could have won the game.

“Cooper threw a heck of a game,” Jones said. “If we’re playing anybody we can score some runs on, he’s going to win last night.”

Jones had to throw his ace in the first game of the tournament, a 3-1 win versus Ringling. However, he didn’t worry about the possibility of throwing Phillips against one of the best the state has to offer. Phillips would give it his all.

“I’ve got total confidence that Cooper is going to go out and give me everything he’s got,” Jones said. “Right now, we probably have three No. 1s.”

Jones said that Sterling’s starting pitcher Tucker White had one of the best performances he had seen in his coaching career. He knew that with White dealing, it was going to be hard for the Bronchos to get a victory.

“My hats off to him, because we weren’t going to score many runs,” Jones said. “If he could throw every day, they’d be the No. 1 team in the state.”

Jones tries to prepare his team for the playoffs and the possibility of seeing Sterling again in regional play. With the two schools less than 15 miles apart, that might be more a certainty, but first the Bronchos have to get through district play.

Central High drew Empire and Velma-Alma at home for districts. All three schools compete in Stephens County and have seen each other before.

Central High is the lone team with a winning record in the double-elimination tournament, but the other two aren’t pushovers. Velma-Alma (7-12) finished third in the Jake Leffler Wooden Bat Tournament and though Jones has beat  Velma-Alma twice, he is a little nervous about playing a team that has won four of its last five.

“I didn’t want them to start with,” Jones said. “Their well-coached. (Coach Colt Allison) is going to make sure they’re at practice every day. He’s going to let them know when they make mistakes, and they’re going to try to keep getting better.”

Empire (9-11) has won four of its last five as well. Jones said his team just need to play the same way it has been. He was proud of the way the team beat Ringling, who beat the Bronchos earlier in the year. If they play that well, with the large amount of underclassmen he has, he’ll be happy.

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Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

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