The Kennesaw Mountain baseball team, which reached the Class 6A semifinals last year, may be the best team Adairsville will play all season. Still, the Tigers hung with the Mustangs Tuesday at LakePoint, taking a lead into the bottom of the fifth inning.
However, a four-run fifth inning allowed Kennesaw Mountain to come back and win the game by a score of 5-1.
“In the fifth inning, it’s 1-0. We’re right in there. It wound up being 5-1, but I feel like our guys gave a lot of effort,” Adairsville head coach Billy Roper said. “That’s a powerhouse in that region in 6A. We wanted to come out here and compete. That’s why we scheduled those guys. They called me wanting to play, and I wasn’t going to back down from them. We just have to find a way to win the ballgame.”
Tigers starter Kyler Pelfrey and Sam Seaman each threw two shutout innings against a Kennesaw Mountain lineup that featured Kennesaw State commit Terence Norman in the middle. Norman went 0-for-3 in the game with two strikeouts, and both Pelfrey and Seaman only allowed one hit. Pelfrey recorded three strikeouts. Seaman allowed a double to lead off his first inning of work in the third, but retired the next six batters in order with two strikeouts.
“[Pelfrey and Seaman were] keeping them off balance, getting ahead in the count and making them hit our pitch,” Roper said of his team’s pitching the first four innings. “We played good defense. Garrett Mishoe made a couple of good plays in right field. Drake Arp made a couple of good plays in center field. It was just a good all-out performance by our pitching staff, trying to give us a chance to be in the ballgame.”
Adairsville took the first lead of the game in the fourth inning when Lane Griffith hit a one-out single. Hayden Morrow was the next batter up and he lined a double into the right-center field gap to bring home Griffith.
“They’re doing a good job of hitting the ball back the other way. I’m proud of them,” Roper said of Griffith and Morrow.
It was in the fifth inning when Kennesaw Mountain’s bats would come alive. While Pelfrey and Seaman were rolling on the mound, region play is approaching Friday, and so Adairsville went to the bullpen in the fifth inning to preserve the pitchers until later in the week.
Kennesaw Mountain took advantage, scoring four runs on five consecutive singles and an error. Kennesaw Mountain then scored an insurance run in the sixth when the Mustangs received a solo home run from Ryland Goede to make the score 5-1.
“Pelfrey and Seaman threw well. We have our first region game coming up, so we just wanted them to get a little work in before,” Roper said Kennesaw Mountain scoring after Pelfrey and Seaman were relieved. “In any other situation, we let those guys go and it might be a different game.”
Along with Griffith and Morrow’s hits in the fourth, Landon Howren had the other hit for the Tigers against Kennesaw Mountain starter Matt Cole, who was clocked at 90 mph during a Perfect Game tournament this summer.
With the loss, the Tigers are now 2-2 entering region play Friday at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe.
“I’m OK right now,” Roper said of where his team stands entering the region portion of the schedule. “We’re right where we need to be. We got some experience, got to play some good, quality baseball. That’s going to get us ready for the top of the region.”
Griffin 11, Cass 1
High school baseball teams often come to LakePoint to play some top competition, and that is what the Cass baseball team got Tuesday night.
The Colonels played Griffin, which reached the second-round of the Class 6A playoffs last season, and Cass fell by a score of 11-1 in six innings.
Griffin scored three runs in the first, two runs in the second, two in the fifth and four in the sixth to put the Colonels in a deficit.
Cass did not have a hit, while Brett Gaddy walked twice and stole a base. The Colonels got their run in the fifth when a two-out error, a walk to Cody Johnson and two passed balls scored Evan Collins.
Cass is now 3-3 on the year and will return to LakePoint today for a game with North Oconee.