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Howerton swings big bat as Comets down Bassett HS 3-1

Tristan Howerton gave Halifax County High School a lift with his bat at two key points in the game, and the Comets took advantage, edging Bassett High School 3-1 Tuesday night at Halifax County High School.

The senior catcher provided a run-scoring hit for the Comets in the bottom of the first inning to put his team up 1-0. In the sixth inning, his leadoff single helped spur a two-run inning for the Comets that resulted in a 3-0 lead.

Bassett High School backed up a double with a run-scoring single in the top of the seventh inning, but it wasn't t enough as the Comets held on for the 3-1 win and improved their record to 12-4 on the season.

While the Comets had nine hits in the game, it was  Howerton's 3-3 effort at the plate that was at the heart of the Comets' offense.

"I've been comfortable in the (batter's) box throughout the past few games," noted Howerton, who is a combined 9-15 at the plate over the course of the past five games.

"I've been able to get into good hitter's counts and been able to square the ball up. Today I was fortunate enough to come out with three hits. I was able to square the ball up and keep a hot stick for the team. Hopefully we can continue this on for the rest of the year."

Comets Head Coach Kelvin Davis pointed out Howerton has swung a good bat all season.

"He's been hitting the ball all year," Davis said.

"He's just seeing the baseball as big as a soccer ball up there right now. Tristan works his butt off. I'm very pleased that he is being successful."

Ethan Woltz, the designated hitter, had two hits and Will Harris, Tyler Stephens, Ryan Powell and Andrew McCann each had one hit.

Harris' hit was a run-scoring double in the bottom of the sixth inning and Stephens' hit was a run-scoring hit in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Comets got a solid effort on the mound from starting pitcher Thomas Cole and freshman reliever Andrew Abbott. Cole struck out nine batters, walked seven and allowed two scattered hits. Abbott tossed the final two innings and struck out two batters while yielding three hits including two in the seventh inning when Bassett High School scored its lone run of the game.

"We got a good effort on the mound from both of the pitchers," Davis said.

"'Big T' is doing a heck of a job for us. He got a little tired. He threw over 100 pitches, and we're a little concerned with that. Andrew Abbott came in and he looked sharp. We're pleased with what we're seeing out of him. We know he's going to help us down the stretch."

The Comets jumped on top in the bottom of the first inning when Powell led off with a hit, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt from McCann, moved to third when Dustin Crews grounded out and scored on a hit from Howerton.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Howerton started the inning with a single. Harris followed with a double that scored Adrian Moran, who was running for Howerton, putting the Comets up 2-0. Stephens followed with a hit that scored Harris to put the Comets up 3-0.

Bassett High School scored its only run of the game in the top of the seventh inning when Kemper Terry tagged Abbott with a one-out double and scored when Samuel Stambaugh followed with a base hit.

Bassett High School stranded a dozen runners on the sacks in the game. The Comets stranded five runners.

"It was a good overall win," Davis said of his team's win over the Bengals.

"Bassett is a good ballclub. They have beaten GW, and we knew we were going to have to take  our game up. We were very fortunate we won."