Canes start with run explosion
by David Royal
Apr 04, 2014 | 684 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cartersville didn’t appear to need the help, but the Purple Hurricanes got it anyway and they took advantage of three first-inning errors to score their first eight runs en route to a 11-1 defeat of North Murray on Thursday.

Also helping Cartersville’s cause mightly was the pitching performance of Hunter Osborn, who handcuffed the Mountaineers with nine strikeouts and one hit in five scoreless innings of work.

Micah Smith threw the last inning for Cartersville, striking out two while allowing one run.

The victory keeps the Canes locked in a three-way tie for first place in their region.

Head coach Stuart Chester said Osborn turned in another good performance, something he’s becoming accustomed to.

“Every outing he’s been here, he’s been effective,” Chester said. “It goes back to all of his experience from last year. He’s without a doubt clicking right now.”

The Canes scored early in their contest as Clifton Dempsey singled to right, then took second on a wild pitch and third when Brent Arnold reached on an error and scored when Elliott Anderson was hit by a pitch.

Cameron Neal, designated hitter, drew a base on balls, then moved to second when Arnold reached on an error. Neal moved to third after Anderson was hit by his pitch and scored when Destin Herron was walked with the bases loaded.

Other Canes scoring during the inning were Arnold, Anderson, Herron, Lane Wilson, Garrett Rutledge and Elliott Berrey.

Just how charitable were the Mountaineers?

Cartersville hit four singles during the inning. The Canes drew three walks and reached on error three times.

Cartersville’s first out came with its ninth batter at the plate.

The Canes scored their next three runs in the sixth inning when Herron hit a home run over the left field wall, and Dempsey doubled in Berrey and Riley Richards to end the game because of the 10-run rule.

Chester said the offensive explosion changed the Canes’ approach to the game.

“You get up 8-0 like that in the first inning and you don’t want to bunt and you don’t want to steal. The game plan kind of changes,” he said. “The only thing you don’t want to change is your kids’ mentality. I don’t know, we probably had a lull there for a couple of innings. Of course I’m a lot more comfortable when we jump out like that.”

Cartersville improved to 9-8 overall and is 6-1 in Region 5-AAA.

Chester said picking up a region win was important.

“Any region win is huge,” he said. “Every region win from here on out is huge because we are sitting in, really, a three-way tie, but the run differential puts us technically in first place.”

Ringgold and Sonoraville also entered the evening with 5-1 records in the region.

The Canes have weathered a tough pre-region schedule, and the coach sees positive signs from his players.

“We’re getting better and better and now we’re getting decent weather,” Chester said. “Our hitting is coming around. Our defense is coming around. I think pitching is our strength.”

North Murray dropped to 4-9 overall and is 1-2 in the region.

Cartersville next plays Lassiter on Saturday. The two meet at 1 p.m. at Richard Bell Field.

Cass 8, Pickens 1

The Cass Colonels took the lead behind a five-run second inning and tacked on three more to claim its second straight victory over Pickens on Thursday in high school baseball play.

Alex Yauslin had three extra-base hits to lead the Colonels, including a two-run double. Sam Russell also tallied an RBI single for the Colonels.

Ben Kapito tamed Pickens from the mound, striking out eight batters while allowing one earned run, three hits and no walks over seven innings.

Cass also scored two runs in the fourth and one in the sixth.

Pickens scored its only run in the top of the seventh.

Cass now is 3-2 in its region and 5-10 overall.