For those who were brave enough to weather the rain and the wind, there was plenty of baseball to be seen Wednesday at LakePoint.
Six high school and three college games were played in Emerson Wednesday, and from 3 to 9 p.m, Georgia Highlands, Woodland and Cartersville all were in action on one of the fields.
Cartersville and Woodland lost to some top teams from Class 6A, while the day was highlighted by a walk-off triple by former Cass Colonel Brandon Etheridge in Georgia Highlands’ Game 2 win of its doubleheader.
Kennesaw Mountain 15, Woodland 0
Facing a Kennesaw Mountain team that went to a third game of the Class 6A state semifinal series a year ago, Woodland could not afford to make any mistakes in its game Wednesday.
Unfortunately for the ’Cats, three errors proved costly as Woodland lost by a score of 15-0 in four innings.
“They’re good, but we have to make routine plays,” Woodland head coach Corey Gochee said. “We didn’t play defense. ... We gave them baserunners. When you give a team baserunners that’s the caliber of Kennesaw Mountain, they’re going to make it hurt, and it did.”
After a walk to begin the inning, followed by a single, an error, a double and another walk, Kennesaw Mountain had a four-run fourth inning. Kennesaw Mountain then put the game away with a nine-run third and a two-run fourth for the run-rule victory.
At the plate, Woodland did not have a hit in the game and put just one runner on base.
“Offensively, we’re not aggressive enough early in counts, and they threw a left-handed guy that can locate a breaking ball,” Gochee said. “That’s going to be tough on you anyway.”
Woodland is now 1-1 and will face LaGrange Friday at home.
Lambert 3, Cartersville 0
Cartersville’s pitching was able to hang in with Lambert Wednesday night, but the Canes could not generate enough runs in their 3-0 loss at LakePoint.
The Canes made four errors, and some key walks and stranding the bases loaded with no outs in the second inning was the difference in the season opener.
“It was the first game since [a scrimmage against Cherokee Feb. 12], and we haven’t seen live pitching since,” Cartersville head coach Stuart Chester said. “We’ve been inside in the cages. Lambert’s in the same boat. It just came down tonight to who made the least mental mistakes and who capitalized on opportunity.”
Elliott Anderson got the start and pitched three scoreless innings to begin the game, allowing just a hit by pitch, a walk and an error. He struck out the first five batters he faced and six of the first seven, finishing his outing with seven strikeouts.
Cartersville allowed just two hits in the game as Zach Yancey pitched two innings and gave up two runs, Jacob Fowler allowed the first two runners to reach base but got out of the jam in his inning of work, and Anthony Seigler allowed one unearned run in the seventh.
The Canes’ pitchers also held Georgia Tech commit Kyle McCann to an 0-for-3 day with three strikeouts and one walk.
“Elliott looked sharp. Zach looked sharp. He just got a little fine with himself,” Chester said of his team’s pitching in the game. “Jacob, he let the lead runner get on, and then bowed his neck and got out of the inning. He did a good job. And then, [Seigler], he did a good job, too.”
While Anderson was dealing on the mound, the Canes had an opportunity to get on the board first when an error and infield singles by speedsters Carrington Evans and Parker Tidwell loaded the bases with no outs. However, two consecutive strikeouts and a groundout ended the threat and kept the game scoreless.
Lambert would eventually score in the fifth when it drew two walks and received a two-run triple by Josh McAllister.
“We walked a couple and they capitalized on it, and that’s what happens when you play teams like that,” Chester said. “That’s what you’re going to get. You give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.
“Walks will beat you. I believe that, especially with a program like Parkview, Lambert, Johns Creek. You walk somebody, they’re going to score. One-through-nine are very good hitters. They all have good speed. It’s just a different level of baseball. You may get away with it with some programs, but when you walk somebody, they’re going to capitalize. That’s what happened tonight.”
Lambert would score its last run when a single, a stolen base and a ball thrown into the outfield while trying to catch a runner at second base allowed Lambert’s lead-off hitter Jarrett Wright to score from second base.
Cartersville did have a chance to tie the game in the seventh inning, though. After Trevor Lowe walked and Noah Daniel reached on an infield single, Anthony Seigler represented the tying run with two outs in the inning. Seigler hit a rope to dead center field, but it was tracked down near the warning track for the last out of the game.
“We had every opportunity — bases loaded, nobody out, didn’t score,” Chester said. “Really, if that ball [Seigler] hits right there, if that gets down, he might score and it would be a tie ballgame. It was just a game of opportunities, and we didn’t capitalize and they did.”
Cartersville will play its second game of the season Saturday at home against Johns Creek.
Georgia Highlands took both games of its doubleheader with Southern Union Wednesday at LakePoint.
The first game was a 6-3 win for the Chargers as they scored four runs in the fifth in a 2-2 tie to take the lead for good.
Georgia Tech transfer Daniel Gooden’s grand slam in the inning proved to be the difference in the game.
The second game came down to the bottom of the ninth. In a 6-6 tie, Trey Lang singled to lead off the seventh inning. After an out was made, Etheridge lined a triple over the left fielder’s head to walk off with the win.
With the sweep, the Chargers are now 10-5 on the year.