But it was the offense that made the biggest noise Thursday night, sending six balls on a fast ride out of Richard Bell Field while sending an assortment of others into the outfield for doubles with a smattering of singles, too.
The result was a mercy-rule 10-0 victory over Murray County in what head coach Stuart Chester said was a matter of good play in one area helping in all facets of the game for the Purple Hurricanes.
“It’s probably one of our best nights at the plate all year,” the coach said. “It was just a great effort on their part, being patient and disciplined.”
That patience netted the Canes 12 hits on the evening three doubles and three singles in addition to the homers.
Chester said Drew Flatford, who scattered four hits and struck out six in his complete game shutout, used the whole team to advantage. “Drew did just a tremendous job on the mound. He was backed by a good defense.”
One of the offensive keys was Luke Daniel, who proved the bookends for the six home runs that were sent skyward on the warm April evening.
The right fielder, who bats in the second spot, sniffed over his four pitches in the top of the first inning, fouled off the fifth and crushed the sixth offering high over the center field wall.
Four Canes struck similar blows, including in succession Cory Collum, Collin Bennett, Ben Venters and Zack Ross.
Daniel then concluded the evening’s fireworks in the bottom of the fifth inning when he blasted his second home run out of the park to give the Canes their 10-run lead to end the game.
The only difference in that blow and the earlier one was that two Canes — Harris Battle and Connor Justus — were already parked on base waiting to give the round-tripper an early boost.
Cartersville had scored its initial run in the first on Daniel’s blow and added a second run when Venters doubled his way on and then crossed the plate courtesy of a double by Bennett as the Canes took a 2-0 lead.
Collum gave the Canes a 3-0 lead with a home run in the second frame while Bennett parked one over the fence in the third, for a 4-0 lead.
The Canes got three runs in the fourth, including the RBI homer by Venters — which also scored Daniel — and Ross’ blast over the left field wall.
In the bottom of the fifth, Daniel ended the game with his 3-run shot.
The Canes also got runners on base courtesy of three walks and two batters hit by pitches.
Flatford has been showing progress at the mound this season, and Chester took note of that. “He’s been getting into a rhythm, getting the mechanical things worked out and everyone was good behind him tonight.”
The coach said Cartersville is improving as a team, and he said strong play in one facet of the game tends to help in the other aspects, too.
He said it was particularly satisfying Thursday night because the Canes got a great win on a beautiful evening and also joined in observing Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
The Canes wore pink jerseys to mark the evening and presented a $500 check to The Hope Foundation through proceeds raised through the sale of Pink T-shirts.
“It’s just a great day when you can help a program like that,” Chester added.
The Canes return to the diamond today when they visit Ringgold in a matchup with region and state playoff implications.
Ringgold (19-1, 18-1 in Region 7-AAA) is currently ranked No. 2 in the state coaches baseball poll and at the start of the evening trailed the Canes by half a game in the region by virtue of having played one less game.
Cartersville is ranked No. 5 in the state and Allatoona (18-3, 15-2) is No. 6.