Nothing goes Colonels' way in run-rule defeat


A black cat had to have crossed the path of the bus taken by the Cass baseball team to Friday's game at Kell.

The entirely plausible occurrence is the only way to explain what happened in Marietta, as the Colonels suffered a 12-0 loss to the Longhorns in five innings.

Sure, Kell entered the game second in the Region 7-AAAAA standings and Cass had lost its previous seven games (six in the region), but there was something else at play.

There had to be.

"It seemed like everything we hit, they caught," Colonels coach Tim Ayers said, "and everything they hit landed.

"Just one of those days."

Cass (9-16, 3-9) made plenty of hard contact, but the Colonels only had three hits — one apiece by Clay Means, Logan Nelson and Gavin Young — to show for it.

Meanwhile, everything the Longhorns (13-11, 8-2) put a bat on wound up finding the grass. Kell racked up 11 hits, including seven total from the Nos. 5-6-7 hitters.

"We'd get two strikes on a guy, he would put it in play and we couldn't field it," Ayers said. "We just weren't very good today — nobody was. It just wasn't our day. "

With ace Evan Hinton on the mound, Cass had felt good about its chances of reversing Wednesday's 4-2 loss to Kell. But after throwing 110 pitches Monday, Hinton appeared to never be on his game Friday.

After a scoreless inning and a half of baseball, everything started to go against the Colonels.

The first five batters reached to open the bottom of the second. In total, the Longhorns had eight hits in the frame.

Hinton exited with two outs but wound up being charged for all 10 runs (eight earned) that scored in the inning. He gave up eight hits and two walks with no strikeouts.

"He couldn't get any breaking ball stuff over," Ayers said of Hinton. "That hurt him. He just couldn't throw it for a strike so everything was fastballs, and he just couldn't throw it by those guys."

Ayers rejected the notion that fatigue was a factor for Hinton.

"We thought we could bring him back today," he said. "He wanted to pitch today. He's our best guy, and we needed a win. We thought we could bring him back, but he just didn't have it.

"I think it was just one of those days. I don't think the rest had a lot to do with it. I mean, he had three days."

Wyatt Karlovich came on to escape the jam, and he allowed one unearned run in the third inning. Steven Spell entered to pitch the fourth and gave up one run.

Offensively, the unlucky Colonels hit plenty of hard balls against Colby Arthur.

They just saw the Longhorns' outfielders snag everything. Some were sent directly to the left fielder and others led to unbelievable catches by both corner outfielders.

After Young reached on Cass' third knock of the day, Kell turned a double play to almost mercifully end the game early.

Following a 3-3 start to region play, the Colonels have yet to enter the win column. They have had plenty of chances, losing four of those games by two or fewer runs.

With just four games remaining, two each against East Paulding and Paulding County, Ayers hopes his team can end the season on a positive note.

It will take some better play and some better luck than Cass had Friday.

"It's a hope that we can end the year on a high note and go get three of the four or four of the four," he said. "That would be a nice way to end."