The Tigers scored those runs off 14 hits — including a two-run home run shot by Sean McDermott — as they improved their overall record to 3-1.
As a special touch, Eddie Chastain, coach of the Tigers for 19 years, threw out the first pitch to Roper, one of his former players.
Roper, who assumed the reins of head baseball coach in early summer for the Tigers said he experienced a lot of emotions going into the game.
“I told [coach Chastain] when he threw out the first pitch that everything I am I owe it to him for giving me my shot. I just told him I loved him and I appreciated him,” Roper added. “After that, it was just a baseball game.”
Still, it was a good game for the team dressed in green and that fact was not lost on the head coach.
“We battled back and forth,” Roper said. “We were able to get some runs. We were able to battle. Like I told them, ‘Good teams are able to add runs late. We were able to have that big inning in the [fourth] and score five [runs].”
Coosa scored the game’s first run in the top of the second, but the Tigers roared back with three runs in the bottom of the frame, courtesy of Colin Bearden, Dakota Hines and Lane Griffith. Bearden got on when he was hit by a pitch, Hines and Griffith reached with RBI singles.
Both teams scored two runs each in the third inning, with Adairsville’s scores coming from McDermott and Hunter Smith, who reached base with a double, and Coosa added a run in the top of the fourth.
Adairsville scored five runs off five hits in the fourth inning, the runs scored by Tyler Washington, Cody Melton, Tristin Smith, McDermott and Hunter Smith.
McDermott closed scoring out for Adairsville in the fifth when he drove in Melton with a ball he sent screaming over the center field wall.
Roper said he saw some good things by his team but there were some early season errors as well.
“Our guys executed fundamental baseball but I still want to talk [to them] about the mistakes we made,” he said. “We have to get better in order to beat the teams we want to beat. All in all, I’m proud of the effort of these young men.”
He said Adairsville’s pitchers — Melton, Tristin Smith and Hunter Smith — did what they were asked to do.
“We gave up some runs early but it’s early in the year and our pitchers aren’t really where they want to be in terms of pitch counts and things,” Roper said. “We were able to accomplish what we wanted as far as our three starters going two to three innings.”
He also praised the Tigers’ hitting.
“We had 14 hits. I think everybody in the lineup had a hit. Sean McDermott, who hit the home run, I think was 3-for-4. He hit the home run with two strikes [on him],” Roper added. “We had several guys hitting the ball the other way. That’s what we preach and practice. Anybody can pull the ball, but we want the guys who can hit the ball back up the middle and go the other way.
“Lane Griffith had a good day at the plate. Colin Bearden had a good day at the plate. All and all, it was a very productive day at the plate for the whole team.
“Hitting will be one of the keys to this team having a good season. We have to hit.”