April 1, 2014

Rivals split the bill

Bruins take baseball opener, Raiders win nightcap

TUNNEL HILL — Whitfield County rivals Southeast and Northwest both came away from Tuesday’s Sub-region 7B-4A doubleheader with wins.

But it was the visiting Southeast Raiders who walked off of Richard S. Chumley Field with their heads held higher, accomplishing what no one else in the sub-region has been able to this season.

It was also something this entire group of Raiders had never accomplished — beating the Bruins.

Behind a strong pitching effort from Rhett Harper and an offensive combination that coach Brad Lofton described as “power and havoc,” the Raiders beat the Bruins 9-2 in the nightcap to give Northwest its first sub-region loss of the year.

It was a Southeast victory on the baseball diamond over Northwest for the first time since Lofton became the school’s coach in 2009.

“It is a big boost for our confidence,” Harper said after scattering eight hits on the mound and going 2-for-2 at the plate in the second game.

“We came in wanting to at least split, and it gives us a big push if we can win at home.”

The two teams play again today at 5 p.m. at Southeast to complete the three-game series.

In the opening game, the Bruins (11-4, 7-1 Sub-region 7B-4A) rallied for a 10-9 win on a walk-off RBI double from Diego Peralta.

It was a game in which neither team came away feeling good. The teams combined for 19 runs on 14 hits with 14 walks, four errors and several other mistakes.

Southeast (11-6, 4-4) led 6-0 after its half of the third inning despite having just three hits, thanks to a pair of Northwest errors. The Raiders gave it back as the Bruins went up 7-6 in the bottom half on the benefit of just two hits, six walks and a pair of Southeast errors.

In the fourth, Southeast’s Blake Foster, who was intentionally walked twice, greeted Northwest reliever Seth Pierce’s first pitch with a towering, two-run homer to right field, but the Bruins tied the game 8-all in the bottom half on an RBI single by Walker Maret.

Harper had a solo homer to lead off the fifth, putting the Raiders ahead 9-8, but the Bruins tied the game without benefit of a hit in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Will Brock struck out swinging but reached first when the ball got behind Southeast catcher Abram Stanley.

Two more passed balls during Peralta’s at-bat moved Brock to third, and he scored on Peralta’s groundout.

Pierce handled the Raiders the rest of the way to earn the win, getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth and working around a one-out double by Chase Jenkins.

Southeast was led by Foster and Jenkins, who were both 2-for-4. Peralta drove in four runs on his 2-for-3 performance, and Maret was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

“We got the win, but we certainly were not satisfied with the way we played,” Northwest coach Todd Middleton said. “There are no excuses, we just didn’t get the job done in the second game. They are a good-hitting team, and we gave them too many opportunities.”

In the second game, pitching was less of a problem as Harper went the distance for Southeast and Northwest starter Andy Whisenant pitched six innings. The Raiders never trailed, jumping ahead in the first. Foster singled to left and brought in Ty Pendley, who had led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Daniel Chavarria.

Northwest countered in the bottom of the inning with Pierce taking advantage of a Raider error to drive in Peralta with a two-out single. But Southeast added two in the second with a pair of walks, an errant pickoff attempt at third and a single by Foster. The Raiders didn’t trail again.

Pierce did all of Northwest’s damage, connecting on a solo homer in the fourth and finishing 3-for-3.

Like Harper, Jenkins was 2-for-2 in the nightcap and Pendley was 2-for-3 with four runs scored. Colter Faith was 2-for-4 with a ground-rule double, while Foster was 2-for-5. The Raiders also executed three sacrifice bunts and had two bunt singles.

“If our guys leading off and in the bottom of the order can cause some havoc, that sets things up for Blake and Rhett and our power hitters,” Lofton said. “We executed our bunts, and that caused a little of the havoc.”

Text Only
  • SE fball conditioning 1 mlh.jpg Prep football: Raiders enter preseason hoping for breakthrough

    Entering his third year as Southeast Whitfield High School’s football coach, Sean Gray believes the last obstacle is belief.
    He believes this group of Raiders has that quality.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Devin Golden: Other sports start practice this week

    Football isn’t the only high school sport during the fall — and the others are joining in this week.

    July 28, 2014

  • Three locals on NW team in state golf event

    Three local golfers — Hardin Chambless, Tori Owens and Landon Painter — played Sunday in round one of the Junior Sectional Challenge Match.

    July 28, 2014

  • DHS fball condition#1C0E6F8.jpg Prep football: Dalton enters camp well ahead of learning curve

    The joke came quick to the lips of Dalton High School football coach Matt Land when asked how the opening day of conditioning for the Catamounts went on Friday.
    “We can quit and go home,” Land said. “They have it all figured out.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hall of Fame Baseball_Chan.jpg Making a trip into town

    Frank Thomas was always driven to excel, and that sure served him well.
    “I was never that blue-chip prospect,” he said. “I had to outwork my opponents.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hall of Fame Baseball_Chan2.jpg Chris Whitfield: Memories stay with us, and go with them

    I still remember the pandemonium that broke out in the dorm at Middle Georgia College in tiny Cochran, Ga., the night of “The Slide” in the 1992 National League Championship Series. It was a fire drill, wall street-buying frenzy and a Roman toga party all in one.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deshawn Ruffin Sign#1C0E79A.jpg Dalton State College signs PG from Florida

    Dalton State College announced signing a Jacksonville, Fla., prep basketball standout to its men’s basketball team.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS vs RHS fball xtra 7 mlh.jpg Totally focused on fútbol

    In order to chase his soccer dream and continue to mature and improve in the sport that he loves so much, Dalton High School athlete Eder Mora has decided to make a sacrifice — giving up football.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Whitfield, Chris.JPG Chris Whitfield: Football fans may lose, but Mora will win with decision

    Throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to see some of the finest athletes this state has ever produced. From professional athletes who went on to the NFL, MLB and the NBA to college washouts who still rank as the finest high school athletes I have ever seen, I have been blessed.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • CHS fball conditioning 6 mlh.jpg Christian Heritage enters camp with many questions to answer

    In the first day of conditioning for local high school football teams, Christian Heritage coach Preston Poag didn’t decide any of the position battles that his team faces this year after losing a strong senior class.
    But there will be plenty of those battles to come.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

Devin Golden's sports updates
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp