Kendall Hawkins pitched a complete game for Cartersville, giving up two runs (one earned) and three hits while striking out seven.
After his teammates had given him a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Hawkins appeared ready to surrender that advantage in the bottom half of the inning when he found himself in a bases-loaded jam. He escaped without any damage by striking out the final batter.
“That was big to get out of the inning,” Canes assistant coach Kyle Tucker said of Hawkins, who gave up a pair of singles and walks in the inning. “[He] actually picked off a guy at second,” Tucker added of Hawkins’ efforts to get out of the inning.
After averting that threat, Cartersville went on to score a couple of runs in the third and fifth innings for a 5-1 lead. Heritage added a run in the sixth to trim the deficit to three, but the Canes tacked on three insurance runs in the seventh.
Zach Ross went 2 for 5 with two runs for Cartersville; Michael Goss continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, with two doubles; Jojo Underwood had two hits and two RBIs; Brandon Wells drilled a three-run homer; and Beau Benefield had one hit.
Goss had eight consecutive hits before grounding out in his final at-bat.
Their game against the Generals was just the second of three Saturday games this season for the Canes, who defeated Dalton 3-1 two weeks ago and have another weekend game scheduled for Saturday, April 21, against West Forsyth at the Atlanta Braves’ Turner Field.
“We historically don’t play well on Saturday, for whatever reason,” Tucker acknowledged. “Today, I thought we really played as well as we have [this year] all the way around … [We] just [got] contributions throughout the order.”
Cartersville (9-1, 6-0 Region 7-AAA) picked a good time for this sort of play with a big week ahead of it. The Canes — whose initial game with Heritage was rained out, as was Friday’s postponement at Brookwood — are slated to take on the other powers of the region, beginning Monday at Ringgold and then Thursday at Allatoona. Both games are scheduled for 5:55 p.m. starts.