Cedartown baseball has encountered several close matchups in the early stages of their 2021 campaign.
Head coach Gevin Johnson should be credited for lining their non-region schedule with evenly-matched foes. Entering last week’s action, the Bulldogs had garnered two victories, with each coming by one run.
However, his squad was able to get their first blowout victory of the season on Wednesday as Cedartown traveled to Temple on March 3 and walked away with a 12-2 win.
After a scoreless first inning, the Bulldogs exploded for three runs in the second inning. A double from Zane Barrow scored Denver Nale, and Barrow was brought home alongside Britt Baxter following a hard-hit single by Dylan Cupp.
Temple’s only offensive success of the game came in the home-half of the second. Parker Andel scored Luke Watson on a ground ball that hit second base and escaped into the outfield to make it 3-1.
Later in the inning, Andel’s courtesy runner scored following an error in left field that would have ended the inning. After two frames, the Bulldogs held a slim 3-2 advantage.
Cedartown then batted around the following inning, bringing ten batters to the plate and scoring five runs, to blow the game wide open. RBI hits by MJ Holiday and Reece Tanner, paired with untimely walks by Tiger pitching, aided the Bulldogs’ efforts in the third.
Harlem Diamond recorded his first varsity RBI when he came to the plate in the top of the fourth inning, driving home Corben Cuzzort on a single to left field. Diamond scored for the first time as well, as he and Zane Barrow touched home plate later in the inning after a defensive error allowed Cupp to reach.
The Bulldogs tallied their first double-digit lead of the season in the top of the fifth inning. Sophomore Eli Barrow recorded a RBI single, scoring Cade Dingler and making it a 12-2 game. Freshman reliever Xavier Holiday, who came in after great pitching performances from Tanner and MJ Holiday, mowed down the Temple batters in the bottom of the fifth, allowing the Bulldogs to walk away winners via mercy rule.
MJ Holiday was 2-for-3 at the plate with one run batted in and one run scored, while Cuzzort was 2-for-4 with two runs. Cupp drove in three runs and scored once in a 1-for-3 day at the plate. Tanner tallied two RBIs and was 1-for-4 versus Temple. Nale and Zane Barrow recorded just one hit on the day but scored two times each.
Tanner earned the start for CHS and allowed one earned run in two innings on two hits and two walks. MJ Holiday struck out two batters and gave up just one walk and no hits in two innings of work, while his brother, Xavier Holiday, walked two but picked up one strikeout in the fifth inning.
The victory at Temple moved the Bulldogs to 3-3 on the year. Cedartown was sitting perfectly at .500 before traveling to meet cross-county foe Rockmart on Saturday afternoon.