Published Friday, March 15, 2013
By CHRIS GIROUARD
Special to The Newnan Times-Herald
East Coweta won its second straight non-region baseball game Thursday with a 6-3 victory over Callaway at home.
But it didn’t leave as comforting a feeling for head coach Franklin DeLoach despite the Indians improving their undefeated record to 8-0 this season.
The win left more to be desired for a team that was credited for making eight errors while also leaving six runners on base. In DeLoach’s eyes, Thursday’s efforts left them short of perfect while now preparing for a makeup game Monday at home against Luella.
“We are concerned about our miscues in the field,” DeLoach said. “We gave them, literally, two runs. We need to clean it up.”
To its credit, East Coweta battled back from a 1-0 deficit to score six unanswered runs, tallying three in both the second and fifth innings against the Cavaliers (6-3).
The Indians gave Callaway a headstart with an unearned run in the top of the first after leadoff man Hunter Heath reached on an infield error at shortstop. He immediately moved up on Chase Freeman’s single and scored when starting pitcher Austin Bellamy committed consecutive errors on a bunt attempt by Kane Keith.
Making his first start of the year, Bellamy got through a rocky first by striking out cleanup hitter Perry Keith before getting Terry Craft to line into an unassisted double play by East Coweta third baseman Jon Banks.
Bellamy settled down from there, giving up four hits during his final 3 2/3 innings for the Indians before giving way to relievers Matthew Meyer and Cole Amtmann. He gave up five hits and walked one while striking out six batters. Meyer and Amtmann each allowed an unearned run over the final two innings.
“All three of our pitchers didn’t have great stuff,” DeLoach said. “But they did a good job battling. All the guys did a good job battling back from their mistakes.”
The Indians battled back with three runs in the second inning while batting through the order off Calloway starter Nick O’Berry, who threw 121 pitches over 4 1/3 innings, while finishing with six strikeouts.
“That’s one of our goals,” DeLoach said. “If we get a guy with two strikes we want him to battle back. If we can, maybe we will get the starter out of the game.”
Meyer and catcher Austin Jones got the rally started with one-out singles before Tim Manning reached on an error to load the bases.
Leadoff hitter Cam Smith forced a run in with a bases-loaded walk to tie the game and junior Bryce Gemmel followed with a two-strike hit the opposite way to right field that put East Coweta ahead for good, 3-1.
Gemmel, the team’s designated hitter, went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs while accounting for half of the Indians’ hits.
Geremy Walton highlighted a three-run fifth that broke the game open, lacing an RBI double down the left-field line. Jones plated his teammate a batter later with a sacrifice fly.
After coming in for Meyer in the sixth and allowing an RBI single to Craft that closed Callaway’s deficit to three, Amtmann closed the game in the seventh with consecutive strikeouts, the latter against Craft to close the game.