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BASEBALL: Cedartown loses a thriller to River Ridge, 1-0

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The Cedartown Bulldogs baseball team is expecting to have an exciting season in Region 7-AAAA this spring. If Wednesday’s game was any indication, the Bulldogs will be giving a lot of members of the community gray hairs.

On Wednesday, the Bulldogs and River Ridge met in the Region 7-AAAA, sub-region ‘A’ opener for both schools and the Knights pulled out a thrilling 1-0 win.

“All I can say is hats off to the (Jackson) Weeg kid, he pitched a whale of a game,” Cedartown head coach Shane Williams said about the River Ridge pitcher. “We hit the ball hard several times, but right at people.”

With the game still scoreless entering the top of the sixth, the Knights put together a rally to score the only run of the contest.

Ian Andrews drew a walk for River Ridge to start the inning and Will Redding followed with a single to right field to place runners on first and third. Redding then swiped second base without a throw.

Cedartown pitcher Daylon Gates would strike out the next two batters. However, a passed ball with two outs allowed Andrews to score and give the Knights a 1-0 advantage. Gates then struck out the next batter to end the inning.

The Bulldogs (7-3 overall, 0-1 sub-region) attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh, but came up short.

With one out, Caleb Ely singled to right field. Austin Pope came on to pinch run for Ely and proceeded to steal second base.

Brandon Cheatwood then bunted the ball, and Weeg mishandled the play allowing Cheatwood to reach first safely and Pope to advance to third base.

Weeg bounced back to strike out Jimmy Hand and then force Harrison Barnett to hit into a fielder’s choice to end the game.

“Outside of that last inning, we were unable to mount a serious threat,” Williams said. “But we have a good bunch of kids who work hard and will rebound and hopefully continue to swing the bats well and get back to winning. Our kids never gave up (tonight), we fought to the very last out and that’s all I can ask.”

Weeg got the win for River Ridge, pitching all seven innings allowing no runs on one hit. He struck out seven batters. Gates got the tough luck loss for the Bulldogs, pitching a complete game allowing only two hits, two walks and one run. Gates fanned 13 batters.

“That was great pitching by both pitchers,” Williams said.

Cedartown and River Ridge (2-7, 1-0) will play Thursday in Woodstock at 5:55 p.m. The two teams will then meet again on Friday, this time back in Cedartown at 5:55 p.m.