ROME — The Gordon Central Warriors got off to a tough start on Monday afternoon and couldn’t recover in their Region 7-AA opener at Coosa as they fell 10-0 to the Eagles in five innings.
The Warriors (0-5, 0-1 in 7-AA) saw Coosa jump out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a few two-out hits and some defensive miscues by Gordon Central. The Eagles continued the momentum by adding two more to their lead in the second and then finished the game off with four more in the fifth to force the mercy rule.
“(Coosa) put the ball in play and hit it where we weren’t,” said Gordon Central head coach Austin Norrell. “We made some errors that helped them too. I thought Harrison (Benton) pitched okay, but sometimes when the defense is not at its best behind you as a pitcher, it’s hard to trust enough to put it in the strike zone to make them hit it. Harrison is a guy that can hit spots, and when he does that and trusts his defense, we’re alright. Today Coosa just scored more runs than we did. We had a bad first inning and couldn’t really ever get back in the game after that.
“I just ask my guys to play hard, and they played hard today. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way.”
The Warriors were shut down offensively by Coosa starter Cody King who pitched a no-hitter in the shortened contest. King went five innings for the shutout win, allowing no hits and striking out 12 batters. Gordon Central’s Peyton Chastain was the lone Warrior to reach base as he did so with a walk.
After a tough first couple innings, Benton settled in a bit and pitched well over the third and fourth before Coosa put the finishing touches on in the fifth. Benton allowed 10 runs (five earned) on 10 hits while striking out one in 4 1-3 innings in the loss. Peyton Wilson came on in relief in the fifth.
Bryson Thacker, Hayden McBurnett, Andrew Earwood and Gavin East all finished with multiple hits for the Eagles (4-6, 1-0 in 7-AA). East had two RBIs, Earwood added a double and two RBIs, McBurnett contributed a double and a run scored and Thacker finished with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base.
Also contributing offensively for Coosa was Jorge Castillo with a hit, two runs scored an RBI and a stolen base, King with a hit and an RBI, Dastyn Trapp with two runs scored and Ryan Smith with an infield hit.
The two teams were back on the diamond on Wednesday at Gordon Central to continue their series, and they will conclude the three-game 7-AA set on Friday at 4 p.m. back at Coosa.
Norrell said his team hasn’t seen the results on the field yet that you would want early in the season, but they just need to stick to what they are doing and hopefully the wins will come as the schedule continues.
“I see a bunch of guys that want to be here and want to work hard,” said Norrell. “We had some issues to overcome in the first few weeks of the season with some guys not being as committed as they needed to be, but we’ve fixed that and I think we’ll keep improving if we stay on the path we’re on right now. That’s what we want to do is see improvement throughout the year. The key is being a better team at the end of the season than you were at the beginning.”