February 19, 2013

Area roundup: Colts baseball starts new year with 3-2 home win

VARNELL — Braiden Jacobs was not at his sharpest in Monday night’s high school baseball season opener, but the Coahulla Creek pitcher didn’t have to be.

Jacobs didn’t have to be because relief pitcher Tucker Sheram was sharp as a tack.

Sheram got the Colts out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth and sat LaFayette down in order in the sixth and seventh to preserve a 3-2 win for Coahulla Creek. Sheram helped himself at the plate with an RBI single in the third, and Erick Dominguez delivered the biggest hit of the night with a two-run double in the fourth to give the Colts just enough cushion.

“Tucker came in a tough situation and did a great job,” Coahulla Creek coach Michael Bolen said. “Braiden didn’t have his ‘A’ game tonight, but he was still able to keep your team in it, and Dominguez had a clutch hit when we needed it.”

Hits were at a premium for both teams as Jacobs and LaFayette starter Josh Manning were able to keep hitters off balance. Manning threw just six pitches in the second as Creek hitters showed little patience in the chilly evening. Jacobs faced just two over the minimum through the first three innings.

In the third, LaFayette’s J.T. Snider got the Ramblers going with a one-out single and leadoff hitter Micah Wyatt delivered a triple over the head of Coahulla’s Kip Davis to give LaFayette a 1-0 lead. The Colts answered in the top half of the inning, taking advantage of a pair of walks and a Sheram single to knot the score 1-1.

Dominguez’s game-winning hit came in the bottom of the fourth, doubling to the gap in right-center to bring in Zack Glines, who had drawn a walk, and Jacobs, who had singled.

In the top of the fifth, the Ramblers loaded the bases and Manning delivered a single to left, but Danny Stavrow’s arm held LaFayette to just a single run on the two-out hit. That was when Sheram came into the game, and he promptly induced a pop fly to right that Dominguez tracked down with a sliding catch.

The Colts play at Dalton on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Charlton County 9, Christian Heritage 8: The Lions traveled to Folkston to take on an established Georgia High School Association baseball power in its first game in a new league.

Christian Heritage might have proven a few things to itself, even if the game was sloppy for both teams.

The Lions and the Indians combined for 11 errors and Charlton County scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to deny Christian Heritage a win in its first game on the diamond since leaving the Georgia Independent Schools Association.

“We didn’t play well, and they didn’t either,” Christian Heritage coach Noah Stokes said. “They are the No. 1-ranked team in the state, and we wanted to know where we stood as a program. Moral victories don’t get you anywhere, but we learned some stuff tonight.”

Charlton County played for the Class A state title last year, losing its three-game series with champion Providence Christian.

Christian Heritage pitcher Michael McKinney was solid against the Indians’ tough lineup, going four innings and giving up just two earned runs. McKinney, who played on the basketball court for the Lions on Tuesday in the region tournament, finished with three walks, three strikeouts and gave up seven hits.

“We made him throw a lot of extra pitches with our defense,” Stokes said.

Christian Heritage had led 3-2 after the third, but three errors and three walks in the fifth inning gave Charlton a 7-5 lead. The Lions tied it with a pair of runs in the sixth with Spencer Robbins delivering on an RBI double in the top of the seventh to give Christian Heritage an 8-7 lead.

Robbins, McKinney and Nich Bartley each had a pair of hits for the Lions.  

“We haven’t done anything yet, but the kids know we can play with the best,” Stokes said. “There are a lot of positives to take out of it.”

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