Cass took advantage of a throwing error and scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to open its season with a 2-1 victory over Chattahoochee on Wednesday.
Three Cass pitchers combined to four-hit the Cougars, who had scored their run in the top of the fifth.
“It was a good 2-1 victory on a hard play,” Cass head coach Adam Williams said. “That’s what we need. In our region we’ve got to win those 2-1 games. Being in these types of situations is why we scheduled a team like Chattahoochee — a 6A school — early. You want to see some good pitching and we did.”
Williams said he liked the way the Colonels played.
“Our kids competed,” he said. “We played until the last out. You talk about toughness and grit. That’s what our kids did tonight, and I’m extremely proud of them.”
Although Jake Collum, Cody Johnson and Evan Hinton allowed just one run in the contest, it definitely was no walk in the park for the Cass defense. The Cougars had numerous base runners throughout the evening.
Chattahoochee loaded the bases in the second inning when Cougar batters coaxed three bases on balls from the Colonels’ Collum. The walks came with two outs, however, and that threat ended when Johnson stepped in in relief and his offering became a fly ball that dropped harmlessly into an outfielder’s glove in center field.
Cass responded in the bottom of the inning with a single to center field by Boo Reed. Reed took second and then went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Stephen Spell. However, the next two Cass batters were unable to advance the runner and the inning ended with the teams still locked in a scoreless tie.
Cass put two runners on board in the third when Hinton drew a base on balls and Brett Gaddy singled to shallow center.
Chattahoochee responded with two baserunners in the fifth, courtesy of a single and a walk, and drove one of those runners in to take a 1-0 lead.
The Colonels answered the next inning with two runs.
Collum opened play with a single but was picked off trying to steal second. Hendon drew a walk and a bunt single by Hinton gave Cass runners at first and second. Brett Gaddy then struck out, but the ball was not fielded by the catcher, and Gaddy shot like a bullet toward first, where the ball arrived just ahead of him. However, both Cass runners had aggressively taken off with the throw and the Cougar first baseman rushed his throw and sent it over the head of the catcher, allowing both Cass runners to score.
Williams praised the reaction by Gaddy to striking out.
“Gaddy’s hustle play allowed us to score,” the coach said.
The Cougars put two runners on the basepaths in the sixth and one runner in the seventh but couldn’t close the deal.
Williams said Cass pitchers put a lid on scoring but added there are things they must work on.
“They all did well,” the coach said. “We have to throw more strikes, but it’s early and it’s to be expected.
“But we competed. We got in situations with the bases loaded a couple of times and we didn’t give in. We competed and got out of those situations. That’s going to help us down the road.”
Cass improved to 1-0 with the victory and Chattahoochee is 0-2.
The Colonels turn next to a familiar foe, visiting Adairsville on Monday in the first of two games the teams will play.
The first game is at Adairsville and has a 5:30 p.m. starting time with the second game the following Friday at Cass with the same starting time.
“Coach [Billy] Roper will have them prepared, and we know we’ll be in for a fight,” Williams said. “We’ll have to play a county baseball rival early and we have two days of practice to get ready for those guys. They’ll be fired up.
“Our guys have to be ready to go.”