The Region 5-AAAA opener for the Cartersville High baseball team against Sandy Creek was a pitcher’s duel decided by one run.
In such a close game, the Canes needed someone to step up, and that someone was who you would expect.
Junior Auburn commit Anthony Seigler pitched a complete-game, two-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts to just one walk in the 1-0 win at Richard Bell Field Thursday.
“He gave us every opportunity to win,” Cartersville head coach Stuart Chester said of Seigler’s performance on the mound. “He located and had his changeup working.”
Seigler also went 3-for-3 at the plate. His triple to lead off the game was followed by fellow junior Auburn commit Devin Warner’s RBI single to take a 1-0 lead.
With two hits and a run scored just five pitches into Cartersville’s bottom of the first, the Canes’ bats appeared to be locked and loaded for a big run-scoring game. However, Cartersville could not capitalize much on its eight hits, and failed to take a walk while stranding eight runners on base.
Cartersville had two other chances with runners in scoring position and two outs in the second and the fifth innings, but a strikeout and a groundout, respectively, laid waste to those opportunities.
“We just weren’t able to get [hits] back-to-back except for the first inning. We haven’t seen off-speed like that all year with our non-region schedule,” Chester said. “Our approach at the plate was not bad. It was just one of those days when we pulled one out.”
The lack of run production would be just fine for Seigler, who was dominant on the mound. He walked the first batter he faced in the game, but was lights out from that point forward. He did not allow a baserunner to reach second base from innings two through seven.
The Cartersville defense also came up big with an error-free game, helping Seigler conserve pitches. He needed just 83 to get through seven innings of work.
“We played good defense. In a tight game like that, you need to play an errorless game,” Chester said. “Sometimes it boils down to who makes the least mistakes.”
Along with Seigler’s multi-hit game, Jake Gooch had one of his own with two singles.
Cartersville is now 10-3 on the year and will next face Chapel Hill on the road today in another region game before going to State Mutual Stadium to take on Rome at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“These are the ones that count,” Chester said of Thursday’s game and Friday’s impending region matchup. “You have to tighten the screws down.”