The Colonels had entered the bottom of the frame trailing 4-2 when Sam Ayers doubled his way on and moved to third on a single by Connor Law. A fielders’ choice by Tyler Gates sent him home with Cass trailing 4-3 with one out.
Gates advanced to second on a passed ball and pinch runner Hunter Bennett took his place.
Dalton Parham then drew a walk and was forced out at second when he tried to advance after Dylan Williams put the ball in play. The men in stripes ruled Parham interfered with his slide as Chattahoochee attempted to throw out Williams, who was moving rapidly to first on the play.
The interference call negated a determined charge by Bennett to home plate from second, a play that would have knotted the game at 4-all had it stood.
Head coach Todd Eubanks took the late-game come-from-behind effort as a positive for the Colonels but showed they have room for offensive improvement. “We put ourselves into a position where we had a chance to come back. But we also had a chance early on to put ourselves ahead so we wouldn’t have had to come back.”
The Cougars struck first on the evening, but Cass didn’t make it easy.
Colonel hurler Noah Sims coaxed a fly out of Kern Griffin, Chattahoochee’s first batter, to Dylan Williams in right field, then struck out Mitch Koch, the second, on five pitches. But Gil Lindy got hold of Sims’ fourth offering and sent it over the left center field wall and the visitors were up 1-0.
Cass didn’t wait long to respond as Connor Law greeted his third pitch with a full load to launch it over the left-center field fence and tie the game in the bottom of the first.
That score held up through the bottom of the third when Gates crossed home plate courtesy of an RBI single by Williams. The run scorer had reached base on a standup double and Cass led 2-1 after he rambled down the third-base line to change the scoreboard.
Chattahoochee evened the tally at 2-all in the fourth inning, scoring off an RBI single that came after two outs had charged against the Cougars. An inning later the visitors plated two more runs for a 4-2 lead.
Cass tried to answer in the fifth when Law reached base courtesy of a base on ball, then moved to second on a fielders’ choice and parked on third after a single by Parham.
But with runners on the corners and one out, two Colonels couldn’t meet the ball with their lumber and the rally attempt failed to net any runs. Cass went quietly in the sixth inning as well, with the first two batters striking out and the third flying out to left field.
Coach Eubanks said the Colonels must improve at scoring late against quality teams.
“We have to finish innings,” Eubanks said. “Offensively, if we get up there with two strikes, we have to compete better.”
Sims pitched four innings for Cass, surrendering two runs, while Brandon Etheridge, who took the loss, threw for three innings and gave up two runs. The two gave up eight hits. Mitch King got the win for Chattahoochee (2-11, 2-5 in Region 7-AAAA).
Cass (7-5, 2-4 in the region) returns to the diamond on Monday, when the Colonels visit Rome.
Cass hands Bulldogs’ first region loss of year
Cass clocked its two-game losing streak — and league leader Forsyth Central — on Friday, winning 12-3 and handing the host Bulldogs’ their first Region 7-AAAA loss of the season.
For the Colonels, it put an end to a short-lived swoon that featured two losses last week to Lambert (11-10) and Woodland (3-1) by a combined three runs.
This contest wasn’t anywhere near as close after Cass turned a 3-1 advantage into a rout with a seven-run fifth inning. Starter Dylan Williams and Chaz Wilson combined to throw a one-hitter.
Connor Law doubled to lead off the top of the fifth and came around to score on a Forsyth Central error. Williams hit a sacrifice fly to score Tyler Gates, who walked to reach base after Law’s hit, and Brandon Etheridge’s double gave the Colonels a 6-1 lead. Cameron Ray added a two-run double to stretch out the lead, and after Chris Morton singled to get on base, Sam Ayers drove in two more with a hit to right, giving Cass a nine-run edge.
Spencer Transue’s hit to right-center field in the sixth got the Bulldogs within seven at 10-3, but the Colonels capped the scoring with Gates’s seventh-inning, RBI single and also added a run on a wild pitch.
Williams pitched six innings for the victory, holding Forsyth Central to one hit while striking out six batters. Williams walked three others and also hit a batter. Wilson took the mound for Cass as well, recording two strikeouts on 14 pitches.
Gates, who finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs and a walk, got things rolling for the Colonels in the first when he slammed a pitch from the Bulldogs Andrew Gist over the left field wall, also bringing in Law, who doubled to get into scoring position.
Law added to Cass’s 2-0 lead in the second when he plated Etheridge with a single to left. Etheridge reached base with single. Law went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a walk on the night, while Etheridge was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a double.
Other Colonels hitters were Ayers, 1 for 5 (two RBIs); Wilson, 1 for 3 (walk); Ray, 1 for 4 (double, two RBIs); and Morton, 2 for 3 (walk).
After Cass had taken a three-run lead, Forsyth Central finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second when Transue walked to lead off the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and then to third on a wild pitch. He eventually scored on a wild pitch as well, pulling the Bulldogs with two at 3-1.