Canes sweep way to Sweet 16
by David Royal
May 04, 2013 | 1065 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cartersville swept a double header against Morgan County on Friday night at Richard Bell Field and advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the state high school baseball playoffs.

Playing at their home field under misting conditions, the Purple Hurricanes handled the Bulldogs 8-3 in the series opener and followed up with a 3-0 shutout.

The Canes next host Woodward on Wednesday. Times will be announced later.

Head coach Stuart Chester said Morgan County challenged his Canes and he is glad to be 2-0 in the playoffs.

“In the playoffs you’re going to get everybody’s best,” he said. “Morgan County was real scrappy and they competed. They’ve got talent. They definitely weren’t going to come in here and roll over. That’s for sure.”

He said the Canes hurt their case offensively with some missed opportunities in both contests.

“We left too many runners on base,” Chester noted Friday. “That’s probably what we did not do well today.”

He said there wasn’t any particular cause, though.

“We would hit it hard but right at them. They made a couple good plays.”

Cartersville stranded 15 runners in its first game and eight in the second.

Chester said Morgan County gave the Canes its best shot.

“The scouting report on them said there wasn’t a lot of difference in the one through four seeds in their region,” he said. “In the playoffs you’re going to get everybody’s best.”

Cartersville assumed control early in both games.

Cartersville 8, Morgan County 3

The Canes scored their first run in the bottom of the first inning in Game 1.

Connor Justus scored the first of his two runs in the game by opening with a double. He advanced to third on a single by JoJo Underwood, then tallied his team’s first score courtesy of a bases-loaded base on balls dispensed to Drew Lawson.

The Canes scored four runs in the third after Tripp Jamieson drew a walk, advanced to second on a single by Austin Adams, moved to third on a single by Underwood and scored after a sacrifice fly by Lawson.

Adams, Underwood and Beau Benefield also crossed home plate for the Cartersville cause as the Canes helped themselves to a 5-0 lead.

Austin and Underwood opened the fourth with doubles and eventually tacked on two more runs to make it 7-0.

Morgan County broke into the scoring column with two runs in the sixth inning.

Cartersville closed out scoring with a run in the bottom of that frame as Justus singled his way on, stole a base and scored off an RBI single from Adams.

Cartersville tallied eight hits and was charged with one error.

Hayes Linn turned in a commanding performance on the mound, giving up just five hits in his complete game effort.

Cartersville 3, Morgan County 0

The Canes scored two runs in the top of the first in their second game against Morgan County.

Justus started the fireworks with a standup triple and scored when the next batter — Linn — uncorked an RBI single. Linn advanced to second when Adams drew a walk, went to third on a sacrifice fly by Underwood and scored when Drew Lawson coaxed a walk out of Morgan County with the bases loaded.

Beau Benefield closed out scoring for Cartersville in the fourth inning.

The Canes helped their cause in the first two innings by their defensive play as four runners — two in each inning — were stranded on the base path.

Pitching for Cartersville in the second contest were Hunter Osborn, Garrett Rutledge and Justus. Cartersville pitchers combined to allow just two hits in the shutout.

Both teams were assessed two errors on the evening.

Chester said he was very pleased with the defensive play of the Canes in both games, giving it a lot of the credit for Cartersville’s victory.

“They got us out of some jams,” he noted.

He said he tried to focus his players for their next game.

“You are down to 16 teams left,” he said. “After next week it’ll be down to eight, so let’s work to be one of the eight.”