The 7-0 win on the road improved No. 8 state-ranked Cartersville’s overall record to 19-5 and its mark in Region 7-AAA to 16-3. It was a far cry from the 4-2 loss the Dragons had surprised the Canes with March 30.
Connor Justus was the winning pitcher for the Purple Hurricanes as he struck out nine in four innings of work.
Kyle Tucker, assistant coach, said continuing to win is important for Cartersville as it closes out its season and prepares for the state playoffs, which kick off Friday, May 4.
“Coach [Stuart] Chester has challenged the guys by saying these last games are about building momentum as we go into the playoffs,” Tucker said Thursday. “You can’t just turn the switch on and off when it comes to playing winning baseball, and these last two games are our last two chances to get out there and play. We know we are going to be the No. 2 seed. You could say they don’t matter, but they do. We’re attacking it that way, and it was good to win tonight.”
Providing the offensive fireworks were Williams and Goss with their 2-run shots; Tripp Jamieson, who hit an RBI double; Michael Willard, a hit; Zach Ross, a hit; Jojo Underwood, a hit; and Brandon Wells, a hit.
Tyler Will also got in some mound work, pitching the game’s last three innings and fanning four.
Tucker said the Cartersville pitching was impressive and also came at a good time.
“We had a lot of strikeouts,” he noted. “But their pitchers — after giving up the big inning — kept us from scoring the rest of the way and that could have hurt us. But our pitchers threw strikes and we played defense and that was that.”
Tucker said the Canes need to be clicking offensively for much longer stretches and, hopefully, that will start with tonight’s game.
The Canes host Ridgeland at 5:55 p.m. today at Richard Bell Field as they wrap up the regular season and start preparations for the playoffs.