The Canes had to overcome adversity first as the Ramblers scored two runs in the top of the first. Cartersville answered with a run in the bottom of the frame, closing to 2-1, then saw its opponents knock in a run in the top of the second for a 3-1 lead.
But the Canes (15-3, 12-2 in Region 7-AAA) found their hitting touch in the bottom of that frame — tallying 7 runs — and what was a close game was suddenly a very comfortable 8-3 lead after two innings of play.
LaFayette (10-9, 8-6) did not score again on the evening while Cartersville added 2 runs in the third and 3 runs in the fourth to close scoring at 13-3 in the run-shortened contest.
“We hit the ball as well as we’ve hit it in a long, long time,” head coach Stuart Chester said. “We also had to battle as they took a 2-0 and then 3-1 lead on us, but our guys didn’t panic and they just hung in there. They played good defense after the second inning and our offense knocked LaFayette off its game plan.”
He said Cartersville needs to keep that focus the rest of the season. “We’re at the point in the season where we just to be looking at our next game. We just need to worry about ourselves and what we do rather than who we play and what they do. We just need to play them as they come.”
Assistant coach Kyle Tucker said every starter got a hit on the night.
“That doesn’t happen very often,” he said. “We had eight doubles and two home runs. Knock on wood, I hope that hitting continues.”
Carrying the offensive load were Zack Ross, who hit a double, a HR and 3 RBIs; Connor Justus, 2-of-4 with a double; Tripp Jamieson 2-of-4 with 3 RBIs; Michael Goss, a single and an RBI; Jojo Underwood, 2 hits, one a double; Brandon Wells, 2 hits, one a double; Beau Benefield, 2 doubles, both in the bottom of the second inning; Asa Williams, a home run and an RBI; Michael Willard, 2 doubles and scored 3 runs.
Tyler Will was the winning pitcher for Cartersville, giving up 3 runs, all earned, while fanning four in four innings.
Ty Fowler closed for the Canes, striking out the side in the top of the fifth.
The win came in a game used by Cartersville to honor military personnel and public servants.
“We take a game each season and recognize our military and our public servants,” Chester said. “I’m a very patriotic person and a day like today can put things into perspective. It’s good to live in safe neighborhoods because of all the things our public servants do for us. Games like today are a great opportunity for us to say thanks for all that they do and to recognize them for their effort.”
Purple Hurricanes with family members in the military and public service joined them in walking out on the field.
“It hits home when you see how much a part of our community they are,” Chester added.
Clark Millsap, Bartow County sheriff, threw out the first pitch of the game.
Cartersville next plays Gilmer County today. Play is to start at 5:55 p.m.