Hurricanes sweep into state baseball quarterfinals
Head coach Stuart Chester’s Cartersville Hurricanes completed a sweep of visiting Thomas County Central Wednesday night (May 6) at Richard Bell Field to advance to the GHSA Class AAAA state quarterfinals for the sixteenth time in the last seventeen years.
The ‘Canes got solid performances from four different pitchers to limit Central to only three runs in the doubleheader. Cartersville won 8-2 and 2-1 to eliminate the visiting Yellow Jackets.
GAME 2 — Cartersville 2, Thomas County Central 1
In the series clinching game, the Hurricanes used the strong pitching performances of Micah Smith and Lane Wilson and took advantage of a two-run error in the fifth inning to complete the doubleheader and series sweep.
The 2-1 victory sends Cartersville into the Elite Eight of the GHSA Class AAAA state playoffs where they will either host Troup or travel to Wayne County.
Smith recorded the pitching victory for the ‘Canes allowing only one run on five hits and three walks. Smith struck out two.
Johnathan Robinson suffered the loss for the Yellow Jackets, despite not yielding an earned run. Robinson gave up five hits, walked three, and struck out five.
Anthony Siegler closed out the fifth inning in relief of Smith and Wilson earned a two inning save taking the mound for the sixth and seventh innings. Siegler got the final two outs of the fifth, while Wilson allowed only one hit and a walk over the final two frames. He struck out two.
Thomas County Central took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Eli Taylor led off with a double and scored on a Colby Melton groundout.
That lead held until the top of the fifth when the Hurricanes tallied the deciding runs.
Trent Frazier reached on an infield error and was sacrificed to second by Jacob Fowler. Wilson then singled sharply into centerfield moving Frazier to third. After a strikeout and an intentional walk to Anderson loaded the bases, Carrington Evans hit a hard ground ball that got through the Jackets’ shortstop and plated both Frazier and Wilson.
With their second straight playoff series sweep, the ‘Canes improved to 20-9 on the year. Cartersville will either host Troup or travel to Wayne County for the quarterfinal round Tuesday, May 12 (doubleheader) and Wednesday, May 13 (if needed).
GAME 1 — Cartersville 8, Thomas County Central 2
Trent Frazier, Devin Warner, and Anthony Siegler had three hits each to lead Cartersville offensively, while Elliott Anderson gave up only four hits on the mound as the ‘Canes took Game 1 of their Class AAAA Sweet Sixteen playoff series against visiting Thomas County Central, 8-2.
Anderson tossed six complete innings, struck out seven, and yielded only four hits and three walks to earn the pitching victory. He allowed only two earned runs in his 91 pitch performance.
Cartersville scored first in their opening frame when Devin Warner lined a single to right field to drive in Lane Wilson.
After Thomas County Central tied the game 1-1 in the top of the second, the ‘Canes produced a three run bottom of the third.
Siegler reached on an infield single, moved to second on an Anderson single, and later scored on Parker Tidwell's groundout. Tate Mathis, a courtesy runner for Anderson, and Warner — who was hit by a pitch — both scored on a 2-RBI single by Frazier to give Cartersville a 4-1 lead after three innings.
The ‘Canes added a run in the fifth on a line drive single to right by Warner and a pair of infield hits by Tidwell and Frazier.
The Yellow Jackets loaded the bases in the top of the sixth and cut the lead to 5-2 on an RBI hit by Stone Stephenson, but Cartersville starter Anderson got a strikeout and a groundout to escape the threat.
Cartersville broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth. Carrington Evans and Frazier drove in insurance runs and the ‘Canes picked up another run on an infield error.
Wilson came on to pitch the seventh and earn a save with a pair of strikeouts.
Frazier had four RBI on his three hits. Warner, Evans, Tidwell, and Elliott Berrey had the other ‘Canes RBI.