High School Baseball
Bellamy fires no-hitter over Douglas County
East Coweta head baseball coach Franklin DeLoach scratched a few words on a game ball with his pen and looked toward Tuesday’s ace pitcher following a no-hit effort over five innings in a 55-pitch outing against Douglas County.
After eventually flipping it to senior Austin Bellamy, DeLoach said to a reporter, “I don’t do that very often. But he really deserved that.”
In a 11-0 victory where the Indians thoroughly dominated a talented Douglas County lineup in every aspect of the game, DeLoach could have easily run out of game balls in a 10-hit onslaught where his team also didn’t make an error as Bellamy retired 15 of the 16 batters he faced.
Bellamy’s lone baserunner came on a four-pitch walk in the top of the fifth. But by then, the East Coweta left-hander was well in control, needing just six pitches in both the second and third inning to retire the Tigers in order.
Only three baseballs left in the infield during a four-strikeout effort, two of which bookended a 1-2-3 first inning for the senior while throwing first-pitch strikes to 15 of 16 Douglas County batters.
“He stayed in front of guys all game,” DeLoach said of Bellamy. “He had good command of his pitches. It was just good East Coweta baseball today.”
After having little difficulty sweeping Region 3-AAAAAA series over inferior lineups from both Tri-Cities and Langston Hughes over six games by a combined score of 80-14 in a 6-0 start to division play, the Indians expect to be challenged this week by a Douglas County lineup that pushed Newnan to 10-innings last Thursday in a one-run loss.
But Tuesday’s opener was just as one-sided as the previous six, maybe even more than any of East Coweta’s region wins to date.
The Indians (12-5, 7-0) now take an eight-game win streak into Thursday’s trip to Douglasville.
“They continue to work hard and they continue to get better,” DeLoach said. “Equally they’ve got to understand that this game is very unforgiving. We can’t rest on this. They’re a good team and we expect them to be tough when we go to their place [on Thursday].”
The Tigers, though, will have to find a way to slow down East Coweta’s bats if they wish to make a dent in this week’s three-game series.
On Tuesday, the Indians struck for four runs in the first on three hits including Bryce Gemmel’s screaming line-drive up the middle that came inches from striking Tiger starting pitcher David Irhig. The East Coweta senior never broke stride while ending up with a double to center for the team’s only extra-base hit of the game.
Irhig looked to be out of the jam on Austin Jones’ short fly ball to right with two outs that was dropped for a two-run error.
Big sophomore Jaquez Williams capped off the inning with the first of his three consecutive hits while finishing 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs. His final single came after starting the at bat 0-2 against Tigers reliever Bryce Frazier, who had a bit more success while allowing two runs on three hits over the final two innings.
By then, East Coweta had a victory well in hand.
Ahead 4-0, the Indians spent all of five minutes in the field on Bellamy’s six-pitch inning, before returning to the dugout and batting around again in the second.
A five-run rally featured four consecutive hits starting with senior Matthew Meyer’s two-run single as East Coweta feasted on initial pitches from Irhig, who was tagged for nine runs, five earned, on seven hits — including two-strike swings from Gemmel, Williams, Stefan Cruver and pinch-hitter MacKenzie Martin along the way.
“We’ve worked hard on that two-strike approach,” DeLoach said. “We had some great at bats and hit the ball hard.”
Five Indians drove in runs led by Meyer’s 3 RBIs. Jones and Williams each had a pair while Cruver and Martin — rising to the occasion in his pinch-hit opportunity — posted the others.
East Coweta second baseman Nick Pippen was also 1-for-1 with a walk while scoring twice and coming up perfect on two grounders hit his way. Shortstop Devonte Brown was also perfect on a pair of hard-hit balls to the left side of the infield as Bellamy forced six grounders and five flyouts to go with his four strikeouts.
INDIANS 11, TIGERS 0, five innings
Douglas County 000 00 — 0 0 1
East Coweta 450 2x — 11 10 0
WP — Austin Bellamy
LP — David Ihrig