Prep Baseball: East Coweta holds off Northgate in opener

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East Coweta’s Tim Manning attempts to steal a base during the Indians’ opener against Northgate.

By DOUG GORMAN
dgorman@newnan.com
East Coweta head baseball coach Franklin Deloach isn’t really worried about the outcome of the Indians’ non-region games — especially on the first day of the 2013 season.
But he was still satisfied with Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over the Northgate Vikings at home. Northgate, which fell to Troup in the Vikings’ opener on Monday, dropped to 0-2 in a busy week that continues this afternoon at Sandy Creek at noon.
Playing on a cold, windy opening afternoon in late February, East Coweta and Northgate each put together five hits, but the Indians took advantage of two Viking errors in the fourth en route to the win.
Northgate’s defensive issues helped the Indians push three runs across in the fourth to break the game open.
“We are just looking for guys to put the oar in the water and help us find some success,” Deloach said. “I just want everybody to contribute as much as they can.”
(To view photos from this game, please visit http://photos.times-herald.com/mycapture and click on Sports for the Photo Gallery.)

East Coweta spotted Northgate a run in the top of the second. Northgate catcher Spencer Perry drew a lead-off walk and Chase Allen helped the cause with a base hit for the Vikings. Perry later scored the only run of the game for Northgate off a balk.

The Vikings loaded the bases in the second inning, but East Coweta pitcher Zack McCurry pitched out of jam with two strikeouts.

East Coweta tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning. Geremy Walton led off the inning with a double and scored one batter later when designated hitter Bryce Gemmel poked a base hit.

McCurry pitched the first five innings for the Indians, striking out three and walking four. Austin Bellamy threw the final two innings for East Coweta and retired all six batters he faced, striking out one batter in the top of the fifth.

“Zack did a really good job with his pitches,” Deloach said. “Austin came in the game and was very efficient.”

East Coweta first took advantage of Northgate errors when senior Cole Amtmann reached. Indian catcher Blake Lorow followed by drawing a walk and Tim Manning loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch by Northgate senior starter Robert Massenburg.

All three base runners scored for the Indians on an outfield error that broke the game open with a three-run third inning.

Despite the loss, Robert Massenburg looked sharp at times on the mound for the Vikings, striking out four while being tagged for three unearned runs. Jordan Schmidts came into the game in relief in the fifth and recorded a strikeout. He also retired the Indians in order in the sixth.

Gemmel, a junior who returns for his second year with the varsity, led East Coweta with two of its five hits. Lorow reached on a pair of walks and scored. Senior shortstop Travis Williams also walked twice.



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