Fortunately for the Tigers, they hosted winless Gordon Central Thursday and picked up an easy region victory by a score of 13-3 in 4 1/2 innings.
“First thing is, it’s a region win and that puts us a game above .500 in region,” Adairsville head coach Billy Roper said. “We’re just trying to get the sticks going before we play Cartersville, Sonoraville and Ringgold. We have the big three after this one.”
The Tigers pounced on Gordon Central early and scored two runs in the first inning. Hunter Smith was hit by a pitch to begin the frame. Tyler Washington then came through with an infield single. Tristin Smith followed by hitting a sacrifice fly to left field to score Smith, who advanced to third on an error by Gordon Central.
Gordon Central had four errors in the game, and the team’s defense could not slow down the aggressive Adairsville base runners. The Tigers had five stolen bases in the first two innings.
“We call it ‘Tiger ball,’” Roper said of his team’s aggression on the base paths. “We try to do it with everybody we play. Sometimes we’re limited a little bit more, but we try to put that pressure on everybody.”
Nate Medlock would round out the first-inning scoring for Adairsville when he hit a single through the left side of the infield.
Adairsville went back at it in the second inning when an error, singles by Smith and Washington and a two-run double off the right field wall by Sean McDermott gave the Tigers a 5-0 lead. Medlock followed McDermott with his second RBI single of the game. Two batters later, Jacob Smith hit a two-RBI single to put Adairsville up by a score of 8-0 to end the second inning.
Jacob Smith also performed well on the mound as he pitched three scoreless innings and allowed only a walk to Gordon Central.
“We were just saving him. We got three games coming up. I don’t want him to throw 80 pitches when we didn’t need him so he can throw in the next couple of games,” Roper said. “I know he went out when he had a no-hitter, but we needed to still worry about saving him for these next three games.”
Adairsville continued to pile on in the third inning when Washington and Tristin Smith led off with base hits, setting the stage for McDermott. McDermott lined a base hit through the infield to score another run, giving him three RBIs in the game.
Two more infield singles by Medlock and Colin Bearden scored another two runs before Reece Spencer hit a double off the right field wall to make the score 13-0.
Adairsville then took most of the team’s starters out and Gordon Central was able to take advantage with three runs in the fifth.
“We were able to get some guys in the lineup today that hadn’t got a chance to swing the bats. We were able to get them going, also,” Roper said.
The game was already out of hand, however, and ended prematurely due to the mercy rule.
Washington finished the day 3-for-3 with two runs scored and Medlock also finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
“Teams like this, you’re supposed to do what we did. It’s good that we did it,” Roper said. “If we wouldn’t have done what we were supposed to do, then that’s when you worry.”
The Tigers are now 11-7 overall and 5-4 in region play heading into their game today at Cartersville. The first pitch is scheduled for 5:55 p.m..