Deciding game Tuesday after Canes, Gators split
The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes split a doubleheader Monday at Ware County to set up a deciding third game Tuesday in the Class 5A state quarterfinal best-of-three series in Waycross. The host Gators won the opening game 4-0 and the Canes took the second game, 12-5.
After dropping the opener, the Cartersville offense used a six-run fifth inning to break open another tight game.
Ware County and Cartersville posted four runs each in the first inning with Cartersville taking its first lead of the series in the second inning of Game 2, 5-4. The big fifth inning for Cartersville made the score 11-4 and the Canes added one more insurance run in the sixth for a 12-4 advantage. The Gators managed a run in the seventh, but got no closer.
Both defenses committed four errors in the contest leading to a combination of 14 unearned runs in the game.
Cartersville pitcher Davis Williams, in his longest pitching stint of the year, tossed a complete game for the victory. He gave up five unearned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out eleven in seven innings.
Drew Rothschild and Elliott Eastin paced the Hurricanes’ offense with two hits each. Rothschild had two RBIs. Eastin also drove in a run.
Parker McPherson (2 RBIs), Curt Bonner (RBI), Blake Sutton (RBI, sac fly), Hank Smith, and Jake Brasfield (RBI) contributed one hit each. Harrison Childers also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
In the opening game, Ware County starting pitcher Noah Hooks outdueled Canes’ ace Micah Earwood, 4-0. Hooks scattered five hits and did not walk a batter in his seven innings of work. He struck out only one while keeping the Canes' bats off balance. Earwood was solid, but allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks in six innings on the mound. He struck out seven.
The Gators led 1-0 after one inning on a single, an error, and a sacrifice fly. Ware County added two more runs in the third inning on a combination of three hits and two walks. The final run was added in the sixth inning on an RBI triple by Caleb Stewart who had three hits in the game.
Drew Rothschild had two hits for Cartersville. Curt Bonner and Parker McPherson added one hit apiece.
Cartersville (27-9) and Ware County (20-11) will hit the diamond again Tuesday in a 5 p.m. start for a deciding rubber game. The winner will advance to the state semifinals at either Greenbrier or Starr’s Mill. Those two teams, both No. 1 seeds, also split their opening doubleheader Monday. Greenbrier won the opener 5-4 and Starr’s Mill took the nightcap, 3-1.
In other quarterfinal action in Class 5A Monday, Loganville swept Harris County 6-4 and 2-0. Meanwhile, St. Pius won twice at Wayne County, 11-1 and 6-0. Those two teams will play their semifinal series starting Saturday at Loganville.