Sports

April 19, 2013

Prep Roundup: Powerful performance keeps Mountaineers in running

On senior night for North Murray High School’s baseball team, there were plenty of fireworks from the beginning in a 12-1 slamming of Gordon Central.

The Mountaineers hit four homers — including a first-inning grand slam by Jared Goswick — as North Murray stayed in line for one of Region 5’s Class 3A state playoffs bids. Alex Viars added a solo shot in the first, while Jared Campbell had a pair of two-run homers — one in the fourth, the other in the fifth — to power the Mountaineers (9-11, 6-5), who shortened the game to five innings via the run rule.

North Murray is currently alone in the No. 3 spot in the region standings with a pair of games left to play. If the Mountaineers win out, they’ll be one of the top four teams in the region standings at the end of the regular season — the group that advances to state.

“If we win out, we will finish as the (No. 3 seed), but there is a lot of good baseball left,” North Murray coach Steve Granger said. “If we were to drop one and Adairsville was in the mix, they have the tiebreaker on us. We just have to stay hot and play good baseball. We came out tonight real loose and relaxed and it showed.”

Goswick, who was 2-for-3, got the offense going in the first and it never slowed down. Campbell finished 2-for-3, while Brandon Brock was 3-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored.

Cole Vaughn picked up the win on the mound, going the distance and giving up four hits while striking out seven.

• LaFayette 5, Northwest Whitfield 4: The Bruins had already clinched the Sub-region 7B-4A title but lost their opportunity to go undefeated in league play with the road loss.

Northwest (18-4, 13-1) had runners on second and third with two outs in the seventh but couldn’t finish the rally on a day when Bruins ace Seth Pierce was not his normally dominant self.

Pierce took the loss after allowing all five runs (two earned) on four hits and four walks while striking out four in four innings of work. Phillip Hammonds worked two scoreless innings to finish the contest and surrendered one hit.

Edwin Hernandez went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and an RBI double, while Brandon Smith was 2-for-4 with a double and Diego Peralta added an RBI single for the Bruins, who were down 4-0 after three innings before scoring one run in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the seventh.

Northwest coach Todd Middleton knows his team is set to host Cass in a three-game series for the Region 7-4A title next week, but he was still disappointed to see the Bruins fall short of a secondary goal with the sub-region loss.

“I thought it was pretty important to us, but we didn’t act like it today,” he said. “I can live with the loss, but the approach was not very good today, which was what I was most upset about. We were not very good at anything today, but I’ll take the blame for not getting them ready.”

Northwest, which beat LaFayette 11-1 in a run-rule shortened game Tuesday in Tunnel Hill, hosts the Ramblers in the series and regular-season finale at 6 p.m. today.

Southeast 10, Ridgeland 8: Zach Ramsey pitched two scoreless innings in relief to get the win and also had his first hit of the season for the Raiders (6-17, 3-11 Region 7B-4A), while Blake Foster added a double at the plate and struck out two in a scoreless seventh on the mound to pick up the save.

Cody Manly was 2-for-3 and drove in three runs, while Austin Pratt was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, Devin Gentry was 2-for-3 and Abram Stanley and Rhett Harper each drove in two runs.

Coahulla Creek 2, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 1: Colts pitcher Zack Glines threw a five-hit, complete-game victory, striking out five and walking three as the Colts kept their hopes for an outside shot at the playoffs alive.

Braiden Jacobs went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Patrick Malone was 2-for-3 and drove in Coahulla Creek’s other run. Scout Plott was 2-for-4 with a run, while Cody Wood finished the day 2-for-3.

Coach Michael Bolen said his Colts (8-13, 5-7) are tied for fourth in the region with Thursday’s win and will take on Adairsville tonight for senior night and Ringgold on Tuesday to close out the regular season.

“It is a big jumbled mess right now, and all we can do is control what we can control and try to get two more wins,” Bolen said. “We will see what happens after that.”

Christian Heritage 10, Mount Zion-Carrollton 0: Michael McKinney had a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to bring the run rule into effect in a senior night win.

Ian Robbins was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a pair of runs scored for the Lions (11-9, 8-6 Region 6-A), while McKinney took the win on the mound, going the distance and scattering six hits.

Nich Bartley was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Jake Stokes was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI and Spencer Robbins had two hits as well.

Heritage-Catoosa 5, Dalton 4: Kaleb Hill drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double in the second inning, and Grant Sane drove in a run, but it wasn’t enough as the Generals outlasted the Cats (10-13, 9-5 Sub-region 7B-4A) in nine innings to claim the sub-region’s No. 2 seed for next week’s Region 7-4A playoffs.

The two teams came into this week’s final regular season series knowing each team would finish either second or third in the sub-region. Heritage’s win gave it the series win and the runner-up slot behind Northwest. The Cats will be the No. 3 seed and will face 7A’s No. 2 seed in a best-of-three series with a state playoffs berth on the line.

Dalton’s Michael O’Brien pitched seven innings and gave up just three hits and two earned runs, but didn’t factor in the decision.

Murray County did not report results from Thursday’s scheduled game at Dade County by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.

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