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Cartersville takes opening game of second round series vs. Coffee

Curt Bonner contributed a key hit in the Canes' first inning Tuesday to get the Cartersville offense started in an eventual 3-2 win over Coffee.

With two runs in the bottom of the first inning and another run in the third inning, the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes held off a strong challenge from the Coffee Trojans in Game 1 of their best-of-three, second round state playoff series Tuesday at Richard Bell Field.

On the mound for the Canes, starter Ryan Johnson and reliever Phillip Schiltz combined for a two hitter in the victory.

The win pulls the Canes to within one win of advancing to the Class 5A state quarterfinals.

Johnson went 5-and-2/3 innings yielding just two earned runs on two hits and four walks. He struck out five Trojans while earning the pitching win. Phillip Schiltz entered in the sixth inning with two on and two outs and got his first only strikeout to get out of the jam. He then worked around an infield error in the seventh by striking out the side to earn a save.

Cartersville starting pitcher Ryan Johnson went 5-and-2/3 innings to earn the Game 1 win.

Curt Bonner (double) and Caleb Daniel (single) opened the Canes’ first inning and both scored on a two-run double by Hank Smith.

After Coffee tied the score in the third inning on a single, a walk, and a two-run triple, Cartersville regained the lead for good in the bottom of the inning.

Elliott Eastin reached on an infield error and advanced to third on a base hit by Daniel. Drew Rothschild then forced home the game-winner with a groundout that scored Eastin.

Justin Swords pitched all six innings for Coffee giving up just five hits and one walk for two earned runs (three total). Zaelyn Smith and Brady Skipper (2 RBIs) had the only hits for the Trojans.

Caleb Daniel had two hits in the Canes' Game 1 win Tuesday over Coffee.

Cartersville, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 5A, improved to 26-5 with Game 2 of the series scheduled for Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Richard Bell Field.

Cartersville can clinch the series with a victory in Game 2. A win by the Trojans (19-10) would force a rubber game Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.


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