The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes got a win and a great experience Saturday, beating Rome 7-0 at State Mutual Stadium, home of the Single-A Rome Braves.
“It’s a great experience to come up here and see where Chipper [Jones] has rehabbed and [Jeff] Francouer’s played and [Brian] McCann’s played,” Cartersville coach Stuart Chester said. “It’s just good to get these guys up here and let them experience this.”
Chester brought 24 players and all of them got into the game on the beautifully-kept field at State Mutual, where the Rome Braves won the South Atlantic League championship just a few months ago.
That included seven pitchers, who combined on the two-hit shutout for Cartersville.
“Really we gave up just two soft hits and they threw strikes and made the plays,” Chester said. “They competed. It was a great job by our pitching staff.”
Jacob Fowler was the first of those, and he took the mound with a lead after walks to Anthony Seigler and Devin Warner, a groundout, and a sac fly by J.P. Martin scored a run in the top of the first.
Fowler worked a clean inning in the first and then handed the ball off to J.P. Martin, who struck out the side while throwing just two balls in the second.
Harrison Osborn got out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the third when shortstop Warner snared a line drive and doubled the runner off third.
With the score staying locked at 1-0, the fourth inning was Spencer Dickey’s, and the senior sidearmer had no problem, with second baseman John Reed Evans and Warner turning a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Canes then got some insurance from Seigler and Warner in the top of the fifth.
Seigler singled to lead off the inning, stole second, and scored when Warner ripped a single through the right side.
Levi Ayers made it stand up, pitching a scoreless sixth before Cartersville blew the game wide open in the top of the seventh.
Warner walked and Noah Daniel was hit by a pitch. The runners moved up to third on a wild pitch, but it wouldn’t matter as Martin smashed a ball to the warning track in left-center, scoring both easily on a two-run triple.
“They had a good approach at the plate and, I think, just all-around a good job by our guys.”
Martin scored on a wild pitch in the next at bat as a new Rome pitcher walked Curtis Wilkes.
After a strikeout, freshman Chandler Tromza hit another triple to score Wilkes, and Brant Smith’s fly ball to center was lost in the sun and fell in for a double.
That made it 7-0 and, although Rome escaped the inning with no further damage, the Wolves had no chance at a comeback in the bottom of the inning.
Jake Norris pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for the Canes to wrap up the win. Jake Gooch had two hits for the Canes, while Seigler scored twice and Martin drove in three.
Saturday’s game was a chance for Cartersville to take a break, as their grueling non-region schedule transitioned into region play without a break.
The Wolves were a non-region opponent, but the Canes will get right back to games that matter Tuesday when they host Cedartown at 5:55 p.m.
The Bulldogs are ranked No. 3 in Class 5A according to Georgia Dugout Preview.