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Canes edged in hard-fought title series; finished state runner-up to Loganville

May 17, 2024

Cartersville fell to Loganville 4-3 in Game 3 of the State Championship series to finish State Runner-Up with a 32-7 record.

A walk-off single by Loganville’s Angel Quezada in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday afternoon left the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes on the wrong end of a 4-3 defeat in the deciding game of the GHSA Class 5A Championship series.

For the Red Devils, it is their second three-peat of state championships over the past seven seasons. For the Canes, it is their second runner-up in two years and third since 2018.

Loganville and Cartersville split a doubleheader on Thursday at the Gwinnett Stripers’ Coolray Field in Lawrenceville to begin their best-of-three series. The Red Devils won 5-3 in eight innings in the opener before Cartersville cruised to a 14-3 win in five innings in Game 2.

Luke Miller hit a three-run home run in Friday's championship game.

Friday’s rubber game was slightly delayed at the beginning due to rain in the area and experienced a full rain delay of about an hour midway through the game. The MiLB stadium field crew covered the diamond with a tarp in the fourth inning while the Canes were leading 3-0.

Cartersville built their early lead on Luke Miller’s three-run home run to right field in the top of the second. Tristan McKibben and Cole Crawford singled in front of Miller and scored on his blast.

Nate Russell made the pitching start for the Hurricanes and kept Loganville off balance and the scoreboard through the first four innings.  When he returned to the mound after the rain delay, the Red Devils stirred their trouble.

Loganville (26-12) utilized three walks, a single, a Canes’ error, and a wild pitch to knot the score. Sawyer Wilson was inserted on the mound and issued an intentional walk before getting a flyout to end the Red Devils’ threat.

Cartersville went scoreless in the top of the sixth and seventh innings and Loganville was kept off the scoreboard in the sixth before setting up the walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh.

An infield single, a throwing error, and two walks loaded the bases for the Red Devils with no outs setting up Quezada’s game-winning hit.

Jaylen Jones (3.2 IP, 0R, 2H, 0BB, 1K) was credited with the pitching win in relief of starting pitcher Layne Ayers (3.1 IP, 3ER, 4H, 2BB, 4K).

Wilson (1.2 IP, 1ER, 4H, 4BB, 1K) was charged with the Cartersville pitching loss in relief of Russell (4.2 IP, 3ER, 2H, 5BB, 4K).

Miller finished with two hits for Cartersville including his three-run homer. Caleb Daniel, Cameron Cochran, McKibben, and Crawford had the other Canes’ hits.

Cartersville finished the year with a 32-7 mark and is 64-11 over the past two seasons.


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