On a freezing-but-finally-no-rain Friday, the Sonoraville Phoenix fell for the first time in 2020 4-3 to the Cass Colonels. Sonoraville rallied after trailing 4-0, scoring twice in the fourth and once in the seventh inning, but could not push a tying run across home plate.
“We didn’t have a plan at the plate,” Phoenix head coach Daniel McArthur said. “Did not execute very well offensively. I thought we pitched very well. We even had some miscues defensively that I didn’t really think was a big deal. I told them if we hit, we win that ballgame. It’s that simple.”
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Phoenix had runners on first and second with two outs and senior shortstop Wyatt Castoe stood at home plate.
However, Cass pitcher Jordan Gani, already with two strikeouts, struck out Castoe (and the side) to end the game.
Castoe’s punchout underscored Sonoraville’s inability to produce much offense, squandering opportunities to move base runners around third.
“(Cass’ starting pitcher) kept us off-balance pretty well,” McArthur said. “Guys just didn’t do a good job of adjusting.”
Junior pitcher Tanner Folds started the game for the Phoenix. After an early unearned run put the Phoenix behind the 8-ball, Folds struck out the side — twice. He started the game recording his first seven outs via punchouts.
“When he’s locked in, he’s really good,” McArthur said. “He’s got to do a little bit better job of getting ahead. Can’t have any freebies. Sometimes, he presses a little bit. Tries to do too much instead of letting his defense work. Did not throw bad at all by any means. I was very pleased with his performance.”
Folds would depart the game with three complete innings of work. He allowed three hits, two unearned runs and eight strikeouts (the first K got away from catcher Cole Godfrey).
With runners on and two down, Cass doubled its 2-0 edge in the top of the fourth inning when Logan Nelson reached first base on an error as Carson Hill and Aidan Cottingim scored.
Sonoraville answered in the bottom half of the frame as Jacob Cornette hit an RBI single, then moments later Hayden Holsomback come home on a double steal.
Trevor Childers’ one-out RBI single in the bottom of seventh would be the final offense of the chilly evening.
“We’ve still got work to do,” McArthur said. “We’re going to play good defense, we’ve got good pitching, we score realistically five runs a ballgame and we’re going to win a lot this year.”
After a battle at Pickens County on Tuesday, Sonoraville will host Cartersville on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Several rounds of inclement weather have forced postponements.
“They were very excited to get out here, so that’s a plus,” McArthur said. “This group loves to play. We were able to get it in. Happy we got it in so we’re not pressed with three games next week and having to play on Saturday.”