The Adairsville baseball team played well for six innings Saturday at home against Class 6A North Cobb, but one bad frame would come back to bite the Tigers.
North Cobb scored five runs in the third inning and the Adairsville bats were unable to complete a comeback as the Tigers lost by a score of 8-4.
“One inning, we gave them five runs,” Adairsville head coach Billy Roper said of the loss. “When it comes down to it, we have to be able to make better contact at the plate. I think that was the difference today.”
North Cobb struck first in the game when a single and a balk put a runner in scoring position with two outs. Clayton Wright then singled with two outs to score North Cobb’s first run.
In the third inning, an error combined with three singles, a double and two walks brought home the five runs and gave North Cobb a 6-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Adairsville’s bats woke up in the third inning when Sam Seaman reached on an error, advanced to second base on a wild pitch and scored on a Landon Howren RBI single.
North Cobb responded, however, as three walks and a hit batter allowed North Cobb to score without earning a hit.
The damage could have been worse in the inning if it were not for an impressive over-the-shoulder catch in shallow center field by shortstop Hayden Morrow. Catcher Lane Griffith also helped the Tigers get out of the inning by throwing out a runner attempting to steal second base.
After the first inning, Adairsville put runners on base in each of the last six innings, but were only able to generate five hits in the game to inflict minimal damage after North Cobb committed four errors.
“We have to hit the baseball,” Roper said. “We gave up eight runs to a powerhouse in 6A. We just have to be able to score with them. We had some opportunities. We just weren’t able to get them in.”
Adairsville would draw as close as 7-4 in the sixth inning thanks to a two-run fifth and another run in the sixth. In the fifth, the first two Adairsville batters struck out, but Seaman walked and advanced to third on a single by Howren. The throw to third base to try and catch Seaman went into North Cobb’s dugout, allowing Seaman to score and Howren to advance all the way to third base on the play. Howren then came around to score on a single by Lane Griffith.
In the sixth, Taylor Whitley led off with a walk, and Drake Arp hit a single to put runners on first and second base. Two wild pitches then brought Whitley home to make the score 7-4.
“We scored some in the middle innings,” Roper said. “We took advantage of their mistakes, and that’s what you do.”
North Cobb would add an insurance run in the seventh when a walk, a passed ball and two groundouts brought North Cobb’s eighth run of the game around to score.
On the mound, Garrett Mishoe and Taylor Whitley gave the Tigers an opportunity to come back in the game. Mishoe threw 1 2/3 innings and allowed an unearned run without giving up a hit. Whitley then threw 1 1/3 and gave up one hit, but no runs to allow the Tigers to come within three runs. Orry Carter threw the last inning for Adairsville and gave up one run on no hits.
“That’s the first opportunity we’ve had to get the last three guys to pitch this year,” Roper said of Mishoe, Whitley and Carter. “So it was good that we were able to get them on the mound.”
Of Adairsville’s five hits, Howren and Arp each had two while Griffith added an RBI single. Howren also had a run scored and an RBI in the game.
The Tigers are now 2-1 on the year and will face Class 6A Kennesaw Mountain at LakePoint Tuesday.
North Cobb Christian 5, Excel 1
Coming off the first win of the season Friday, Excel was hoping to carry that momentum into region play in Saturday’s game at LakePoint.
Unfortunately for the youthful Eagles, North Cobb Christian was a little too much as Excel lost by a score of 5-1.
“I think we held up pretty well with a team of that caliber,” Excel head coach Mike Cuomo said. “They’re a very good team. Their record doesn’t reflect how good they are. They’ve played some 6A and 5A schools heading into the region, so I expect them to do well in the region.”
North Cobb Christian got out to an early 2-0 lead after the first inning when an error allowed the leadoff hitter, who reached on a walk, to come around to score. A single then brought around the baserunner who reached on an error for a 2-0 lead.
“We pitched well enough, but there were just a couple of miscues, one in the first that befuddled everybody,” Cuomo said. “There were a couple of hits and a couple of walks, and they just capitalized on it.”
The two runs were enough that Excel could not come back as the Eagles registered three hits. Trace Still singled in the fourth and Michael Duncan singled in the fifth.
Excel scored its run in the sixth after Jordan Wilkie led off with a single. Darius Thrower and Still then walked to lead the bases with no outs, but a fielder’s choice got Wilkie out at home plate. Thrower would come around to score on a wild pitch, but a strikeout and a flyout left Excel with one run to show for its promising inning.
“We could not manufacture anything. ... We finally put together something, but still couldn’t manufacture many runs,” Cuomo said. “We’re pleased with the effort, but we definitely need to mature a little bit and take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves and not leave so many men stranded. With a 5-1 loss to a team like North Cobb Christian, if we could have put the ball in play and not made the same miscues at the front end of the game, I think it’s a completely different game.”
On the mound, Joseph Cuomo got the start and pitched four innings. After the two unearned runs in the first inning, Cuomo allowed just one earned run and gave up two hits in the outing. Wyatt Karlovich then pitched the next two innings and gave up two runs, while Marco Haro pitched a scoreless seventh.
“I thought everybody pitched well,” Mike Cuomo said. “Wyatt came in and pitched really well [in the fifth]. And the next inning, he got hit by a pitch. He went out there and continued to pitch, but it was clear he just couldn’t throw anymore.”
Excel is now 1-4 on the year and 0-4 in region play. The Eagles will next travel to take on Mount Paran Monday.