High School Baseball
East Coweta takes season opener over Northgate behind Meyer’s two homers
by Doug Gorman
High school baseball coaches know their teams will look and play different today than they hope to in later April or May.
That's why East Coweta's Franklin DeLoach and Northgate's Greg Hamilton put a whole lot of stock in Wednesday's game.
East Coweta opened its season with a 9-5 victory over the Vikings (0-2) who were trying to bounce back from Monday's season-opening loss to Troup County.
The Indians took advantage of three walks in the first inning for an early 3-0 lead before third-baseman Matthew Meyer belted the first of two homers to keep East Coweta on top the rest of the way.
'It's good to win, but as I told our team, we have a long way to go,' DeLoach said. 'We are just really trying to get ready for the region. We missed practices and are behind. We are not alone, everybody is in the same situation.'
East Coweta made the most of five hits, three of which left the field. Meyer belted a two-run homer in the second and a solo shot in the fifth before Jaquez Williams followed with a two-run shot of his own to cap off a three-run fifth.
Northgate equally had its share of solid swings, finishing with 13 hits led by three from junior first-baseman Angelo Rivera. They included a solo homer in the eighth while going 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
The Vikings pounded out 18 runs in its scrimmage against Troup before falling 4-3 on Monday to the Tigers, who defeated Newnan in its season opener on Wednesday.
Against East Coweta, Northgate received two hits apiece from Chase Allen, Jordan Schmits, Jonathan Hamilton and Andrew Burden.
Northgate picked up its first run against the Indians after Rivera reached on an infield hit and later scored when leadoff hitter James Poropatic reached on an error. The Vikings then pulled within a 5-2 deficit after Schmits picked up his second single of the game in the fourth and later scored on a wild pitch.
After the Indians' Williams and Meyer paced the three-run explosion in the fifth to give the Indians an 8-4 lead, Northgate sent eight men to the plate, but left the bases loaded to kill the rally in the bottom of the fifth.
Despite having its offense in midseason form, four Northgate pitchers had trouble getting the ball over the plate while combining for five walks. The staff now has 23 over its first three games including the scrimmage against Troup on Saturday. Two of the Indians’ free passes came prior to Meyer’s homer in the second and Williams’ in the fifth.
Cam Smith and Bryce Gemmel drew four combined passes and scored each time.
“East Coweta is a good team but we have to throw strikes,” Hamilton said. “We aren’t going to be able to compete if we can’t throw strikes.”
INDIANS 9, VIKINGS 5
EAST COWETA 320 0 310 0—9
NORTHGATE 010 120 1—5
WP — Austin Bellamy LP — Armond Upshaw
HR — East Coweta Matthew Myers 2, Jaquez Williams Northgate: Angelo Rivera