Dylan Williams, Chaz Wilson and Brandon Etheridge each collected two-run hits during the game, with Etheridge’s single closing out the game.
“We’ve been swinging the bats fairly well with the exception of last Friday, and the kids came out and they knew what they had to do,” Cass coach Todd Eubanks said. “Tonight they just got after it and they jumped on ’em.”
“They know what our situation is and we’ve gotta keep climbing out of the hole,” added Eubanks, whose Colonels are three games shy of the fourth and final playoff spot in the region. “We’re taking one step at a time. Tonight, the same thing here, we keep taking steps and keep chipping away at the mountain, we’ll get there. It finally came through for us. Nine runs in one inning, that’s a lot of runs, and the kids played well.”
Following a game-tying run from the Chiefs’ Carl Milner in the top of the fourth, Etheridge led off the bottom half of the inning with a single up the middle. He advanced to second base on Hunter Bennett’s sacrifice bunt and then went to third after a Sequoyah error on Wilson’s grounder put runners on the corners for the hosts.
A passed ball brought Etheridge home, giving Cass a 2-1 lead, and Sam Dupree walked, placing runners on first and second. Sam Ayers’ single to right field would’ve loaded the bases for the Colonels, but the team’s leadoff hitter continued on to second base, expecting the base runners in front of him to move up. They hadn’t, and Ayers briefly found himself in no man’s land.
Instead of the inning’s second out, however, the Colonels managed to score the inning’s second run when a throw from the Chiefs’ catcher was dropped by the second baseman, allowing Wilson to score and the other runners to move into scoring position. Connor Law’s sac fly made it 4-1, and Williams’ bases-loaded, two-run single to shallow right gave Cass a five-run lead.
On a throw down to first, Sequoyah’s first baseman dropped the ball which sent home the Colonels’ seventh run of the game. Bennett drove in another run with his single to left, and Wilson also took one of Chiefs pitcher Ian Price’s offerings to left for a two-run double.
Sequoyah scraped a run from Cass’ 10-1 lead in the fifth on Brad Martindale’s run-scoring, infield single, but the Colonels loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth with consecutive walks from Law and Dalton Parham and a single to left from Tyler Gates. A 6-2-3 double play brought the Chiefs one out closer to escaping the inning, but Etheridge’s hit ended things.
Williams picked up the win for the Colonels as he struck out five while giving up two earned runs on five hits and two walks.
“Dylan’s last two outings have been very good. Dylan’s got good stuff. Whenever he’s on, he’s tough to hit,” Eubanks said of his junior pitcher. “He threw well. The first inning was pretty shaky for us with the defense … but he settled in. … He sat several down in a row.”
After giving up a single to Stephen Ibar to lead off the game, Williams retired nine straight Sequoyah batters — with five of those outs coming on strikeouts. “He had a pretty good K total for five innings,” Eubanks added.
Cass gave its pitcher a one-run lead in the third after Dupree walked to start things off and advanced to second on a sacrifice from Ayers. Law then walked, and when a pitch got away from the Chiefs catcher on ball four, Dupree went to third base. He came home on another passed ball to give the Colonels a 1-0 lead.
Sequoyah tied things up in the fourth behind Milner’s hit. Also notching hits on the evening for the Chiefs were Martindale (2 for 3), Brody Sluss (1 for 2) and Alex May (1 for 2).
Cass’ hitters were Ayers, 1 for 4; Parham, 1 for 1 (three walks); Gates, 2 for 3 (hit by a pitch); Williams, 1 for 4 (two RBIs); Etheridge, 2 for 3 (walk, two RBIs); Bennett, 1 for 3 (RBI); Wilson, 1 for 3 (double, two RBIs); and Dupree, 1 for 1 (two walks).
The Colonels improved to 3-1 in their last four games, which includes wins over Creekview, 13-3, and South Forsyth, 6-2. The lone setback during the stretch was an 18-3 defeat to Lambert last Friday. Cass (11-8, 6-7) visits Chattahoochee this Friday for a 5:55 p.m. game.
With seven region games remaining, it represents another opportunity for the Colonels to climb up the standings.
“The next game is the big game because every game you play is big from here on out,” Eubanks said. “If we can win the next one, that means we’ve won four out of five and we can just keep taking steps and see what happens.”