Cartersville's coaches were quick to point out the victory at Southeast was not as one-sided as the final score might suggest since 8 of the Canes' runs didn't come until the 6th inning.
"Southeast really pitched well and kept us off balance most of the game," assistant coach Kyle Tucker said. "Kendall pitched well, but we made some really good plays behind him."
Offensively, Michael Willard carried the big lumber as he hit a 3-run homer in the 6th inning, stretching Cartersville's lead to 7 runs from 4 with one blow. The Canes kept the hits coming in that inning and left the frame with their 11-0 margin of victory.
Cartersville had scored two runs in the first inning but didn't give the scoreboard run marker some company until the offense added a single run in the fifth, for a 3-0 lead.
It's the second game in a row that the Canes have scored in double figures while holding their opponents to a goose egg. Tuesday night, Cartersville scored 18 runs while visiting LaFayette. Their pitching staff has allowed just one run three other times. The Canes had not scored in double digits until they visited the Ramblers.
Hawkins struck out six and allowed no free passes to base while pitching a complete game.
He said Southeast showed it is capable of putting together some offense despite being blanked.
"Southeast, hats off to them," he said. "They hung tough with us. They put the ball in play and swung their bats well. They held us at bay offensively until the 6th inning."
He said Cartersville's bats have not been all that hot, but its defensive play has been solid. "Sometimes it goes your way. They could have gotten some runs against us, but we played probably our best defense of the season so far. Clifton Dempsey and Connor Justus turned a nice double play in the first inning, and we had some nice catches in the outfield and a couple of diving catches in the infield -- Trip Jamieson made a really nice play on one ball."
He said that defensive play has helped the Canes against its region foes.
"Coach Chester always says every region game is huge and he's right. When you play in your region, every game is essentially a playoff game because you have to finish in the top four to go. If you want to have a home game, you have to finish in the top two. We need to play some home games if we're going to go where we want this season."
Leading the hit parade Wednesday night for Cartersville were Zach Ross, who got a hit and scored 2 runs; Jamieson, 1 hit and 2 RBIs; Beau Benefield, a hit and 2 runs, and Willard, who homered.
Cartersville, which improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in Region 7-AAA with the win, returns to Cartersville today and will host Cedartown. Game time is scheduled at 5:55 p.m.
Southeast dropped to 1-4 and 1-1 after the loss.
Tucker said the Canes are ready to return home despite their success on the road.
"We're happy to get a win and come home and play [today]," he said.