High School Baseball
Whitewater hands Indians first loss
by Doug Gorman
East Coweta’s baseball team had an experience Thursday that no player had felt since most of this year’s players were still attending middle school.
That was, a loss to Whitewater.
A Wildcat team coming off a trip to the 2013 Class AAAAA semifinals and a recent victory Saturday over Newnan, pulled off a 4-1 win to hand East Coweta its first loss in 2014.
It was the first time in five seasons that the Indians dropped a game to Whitewater, which is off to a 4-0 start under first-year head coach Rusty Bennett.
East Coweta (3-1) rolled off three victories in a row to open the campaign, but in a season where the squad is still playing several first time starters, youth and inexperience might have caught up with the Indians against the visitors from Fayetteville to help give them their first loss of the season.
“There were some lack of experience moments,” East Coweta head coach Franklin DeLoach said. “We want to play high percentage baseball, and not try to put a round peg in a square hole.”
The Indians trailed from start to finish, plunking the second batter to start the game and also walking seven batters in seven hittings.
East Coweta finished the game with three errors and just four hits as they tried to solve the two Division 1 pitching prospects. Wildcat hurlers Ian Giles started and is committed to Kennesaw, while future Georgia Tech pitcher Brandon Lee picked up the save.
Giles pitched four innings and struck out seven Indians while picking up the win,
With Whitewater already leading 3-1 in the fourth inning, Giles turned in his best inning from the mound by striking out the side with the tying run in scoring position.
Stephen Cruver started the rally for the Indians with a one-out double after Matthew Meyer struck out for the first out of the inning. Catcher Austin Jones singled to put runners on the corner. Courtesy runner Graden Treadwell then stole second to give the Indians one of their best chances to do some offensive damage.
Giles recovered, however, finishing off sophomore Jaquez Williams and Makenzie Martin with back-to-back strikeouts.
That was the last big threat of the night for the Indians, who put just one more base runner on board in the fifth, but he was quickly erased on a double-play ball.
Whitewater scored the first run of the game in the with when a hit batter later scored on a one-out double to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats turned the game into a 3-0 margin with two unearned runs in the third thanks to a walk and an error.
East Coweta cut the lead to 3-1 and produced its only score of the game in the bottom of the third when Martin led off the inning when a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch before winding up a third on a fielder’s choice.
Martin scored the Indians’ only run of the game when he crossed the plate on Cam Smith’s sacrifice fly.
Lee entered the game in the fifth and picked up the save with three strikeouts.
Despite the loss, starting pitcher Dalton Chocallo looked sharp in spots, striking out seven, including the side in the fifth.
“That walked batter in the first hurt, but he pitched well at times,” said DeLoach. “We only took him out because of the pitch count.”
Freshman Mason Meyer walked four and struck out three in two innings of relief.
Whitewater added its final run of the game off of Meyer in the sixth inning, but he got out of further trouble with the bases loaded.
“He did okay, but four walks in two innings, he is going to have to clean that up, and he knows it,” Deloach said of Meyer. “We have the confidence that he will.”
WILDCATS 4, Indians 1
Whitewater 102 001 0—430
East Coweta 001 000 0—133
WP — Ian Giles
LP — Dalton Chocallo