Canes sweep Spalding to reach Final Four
Mason Barnett and Gage Morris combined on a three-hit shutout in Game 1 and Cohen Wilbanks tossed a complete-game, five-inning three-hitter in Game 2 as the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes swept Spalding 2-0 and 11-1 in the Class AAAA quarterfinals Wednesday night at Richard Bell Field.
The Hurricanes (29-8) advance to host Heritage-Catoosa in the best-of-three state semifinals that begin next Tuesday. The Generals (30-6) beat West Laurens 6-0 and 6-1 Wednesday night in their quarterfinal series. For Cartersville, it will be a 12th trip to the state semifinals since 1989.
Barnett (5.2 IP, 0R, 2H, 3BB, 9K) started on the mound for Cartersville and picked up the win in Game 1 by working into the sixth inning. Morris (1.1 IP, 0R, 1H, 0BB, 3K) retired the final four outs to earn a save.
While the pitching kept Spalding off the scoreboard, the Hurricanes’ bats produced single runs in the third and sixth innings to pull out the victory.
Josh Davis doubled home J.P. Martin in the third inning for the Canes’ first run. Jordan Wilkie added an insurance run in the sixth inning by doubling home pinch runner Ladarius Winburn.
Spalding pitcher Chase Coppock (6 IP, 2R, 1ER, 6H, 3BB, 5K) was solid in the opening game, but suffered the loss. He also had one of the Jaguars three hits. Wesley Hancock went 2-for-3 with a double.
In Game 2, Canes’ pitcher Wilbanks needed only 66 pitches to dispose of the Jags in five innings. He scattered three hits and did not walk a batter while fanning eight for the abbreviated, complete-game win.
Barnett, Wilkie, Martin, Jake Gooch and Devin Warner all had two hits for the Hurricanes in the nightcap as Cartersville scored runs in every inning except the third. Warner blasted a three-run homer in the fifth that extended the lead to 11-1.
For the doubleheader, Martin went 4-for-5 including a double and two runs scored. Wilkie went 3-for-6 with a pair of doubles and two RBI. Barnett finished 3-for-7 with a double, two runs, and three RBI. Gooch went 3-for-7 with a double, run scored, and two RBI. Davis went 2-for-5 on a pair of doubles, scored twice and drove in two runs and Warner finished 2-for-6 with a homer, two runs scored, four RBI, a walk, and a stolen base. Anthony Seigler was walked four times and scored three runs.