Georgia Highlands playing well 1 week away from conference play


The Georgia Highlands baseball team is preparing for conference play one week from today.

The Chargers have five more games until they begin GCAA play, but they are hitting their stride as they went 3-1 last week in four games between Friday and Sunday.

“Three good wins,” Georgia Highlands head coach Mike Marra said of the weekend. “I like the way we’re coming together, both sides of the ball. We’re starting to really define some roles with some of our players, and they seem to be really stepping up and doing a pretty good job. Hopefully, we get some good work in this week because we’re going to have to show up from the get-go next week because Darton won it all in our conference last year. We have to be ready to go on [March 15].”

Georgia Highlands won 10-2 Friday against Cuyahoga Community College, won 6-1 in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Guilford Tech Saturday, lost 8-6 in Game 2 to Guilford Tech and won by a score of 9-1 against Guilford Tech Sunday.

In the four games, the Chargers played errorless ball in 126 attempts.

“This was the best weekend we’ve played of the four,” Marra said. “We’ve been averaging 3-4 errors a game. It’s killed us. So this weekend, we were flawless, which was nice.”

Georgia Highlands’ pitching was outstanding this weekend. In the loss Saturday, all eight runs came in the fifth inning. Besides that one frame, Georgia Highlands gave up four runs in the other 31 innings.

“If you take that fifth inning out of the second game Saturday, there’s a lot of zeros,” Marra said.

Former Cass player Bradley Hood pitched 2 2/3 over the course of two outings this weekend and allowed no runs on three hits with two strikeouts. Fellow former Colonel Chris Morton threw two innings across two appearances and did not allow a hit or a run and recorded three strikeouts.

Bryan Quillens had a strong outing as he threw 5 2/3 Saturday and allowed one run, and Sam Sowerbrower threw four shutout innings in a game Sunday.

Cass alum Brandon Etheridge also had a strong weekend at the plate while still batting in the No. 2 spot in the order and starting in the outfield as he has done all year. He went 4-for-14 with five walks and five runs scored with each a walk and a run in all four games.

The Chargers also received four home runs this weekend, including two by Georgia Tech transfer Daniel Gooden.

Marra said his team has not hit for a high average this year, but is developing an identity as a home-run hitting team.

“Granted, none of us have played conference games, but if you look at the conference, we’re in the last two or three in hitting,” Marra said. “We’re hitting [.274], but yet we lead the conference in home runs [17]. So we’re getting that longball or we’re getting that big hit, but we’re striking out a lot still. ... It’s been an interesting situation because we do have that longball power, but we’re not really built to come back from six runs down either.”

The Chargers return to the diamond today at Wallace State-Hanceville.