High School Baseball
Cougars can’t hang on in 4-3 loss to Chiefs
The ending was not what they hoped. But two days after a sub-par effort against the same opponent, Newnan put undefeated McIntosh on the ropes before falling short in a 4-3 non-region loss to the Chiefs in Peachtree City.
Heys Rowan held McIntosh to just two hits through four innings as the Cougars jumped out to a three-run lead with lone runs in consecutive at-bats before things unraveled in the fifth.
McIntosh finally got to Rowan while nearly batting around with one out following four hits, an error and a hit batsman that produced a four-run rally for the Chiefs thanks to clutch hitting from the bottom of the order.
Mike O’Kelly pulled the hosts within a 3-2 deficit with an RBI single to right and No. 9 hitter Josh Ange followed with the key swing of the game when he sent a double toward the wall in left to score both the tying and go-ahead runs.
It ruined arguably Newnan’s best effort of the season, which included five hits and just one error.
“I told the guys after the game that we’re on the edge of really starting to put things together,” said Cougars head coach Marc Gilmore, whose team was playing the last of three consecutive games following Monday’s 8-3 home loss to McIntosh and Tuesday’s 4-2 win at Chapel Hill. “I was really proud of how they fought tonight. I didn’t see that fight out of us in Monday’s game.”
Newnan continued to stay aggressive on the basepaths while finishing with three stolen bases. The Cougars grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the third and padding it with runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
All five hits, however, came among Newnan’s top four batters. Jake Kneidel and Tyler Davis both had singles to push the Cougars ahead in the third on a rally that started when leadoff hitter Blake Barnes reached on an error.
Kneidel followed with Newnan’s first hit of the game on a single to left and after teammate Justin Groover was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Davis came through with a single toward right-center.
The Cougars took advantage of two more McIntosh errors in the fourth sandwiched among Barnes’ two-out RBI single to left for a 2-0 lead.
Caleb McElwaney’s sacrifice fly in the fifth then scored Groover to push a three-run advantage. Groover led off the inning with a single to left before stealing second and moving to third on a groundout.
Newnan will wrap up a busy four-game week on Friday while hosting Carrollton on Military Night at Joe Pope Field. Admission to the game is free with a military ID. The Cougars also will hold their barbecue fundraiser.