Unbeaten Indians stay perfect, blank Douglas County
by Chris Goltermann
The East Coweta Indians continue to storm through opponents on the baseball field in 2013. Mother Nature included.
Staying ahead of both Douglas County and this week’s rain forecast after moving its Region 3-AAAAAA series finale up one day, East Coweta polished off a 11-0 victory over the Tigers to complete a perfect four-game stretch over spring break while improving its undefeated record to 16-0.
The last of the Indians’ three consecutive Region 3-AAAAAA victories over Douglas County — which has taken its lumps from a schedule that opened with six games against ECHS and Newnan (now a combined 10-0 in region play) — ended after four-and-a-half innings by mercy rule as drizzle shifted toward downpour on Wednesday over Sharpsburg.
It couldn’t arrive quick enough for the Tigers (4-12, 0-6) who had no answer for an East Coweta pitching staff which yielded one run off five hits over a three-game series while being outscored 26-1.
It also could have been worse, had the Indians not left eight runners in scoring position during Tuesday’s late 4-0 win in game two to close a rescheduled doubleheader to open the region series in Douglasville.
“Game two was a little frustrating leaving eight runners. [But] defensively and pitching wise, I couldn’t be more pleased in this three game series,” East Coweta head coach Franklin DeLoach said. “I thought we swung the ball well [Wednesday] We had some great at bats.”
(To view photos from this game, please visit http://photos.times-herald.com/mycapture and click on Sports for the Photo Gallery.)
Four impending off days until Monday’s final non-region game of the season against Northside-Columbus may be the biggest obstacle facing the team yet.
“The one thing you don’t look for is a break sometimes as a baseball mind. So it’s going to be a little bit of a challenge for us,” DeLoach said. “We’ll have a few days off and that’ll be a test for us to see how well we rebound.”
One thing’s for sure. East Coweta’s arms will be well rested after three consecutive outings of solid performances.
On Wednesday, senior Cole Amtmann and junior reliever Matthew Meyer combined on another strong effort, combining on a two-hitter and the team’s third shutout victory of the week. Amtmann struck out five in three innings, walking two and giving up an hit in the third after Indians shortstop Travis Williams made a diving stop of the ball deep into the hole towards left.
Meyer added three strikeouts in two scoreless innings of relief, allowing a two-out single up the middle in the fourth to go with a two-out walk in the fifth.
Just as impressive, East Coweta didn’t make a defensive miscue over the three games while continuing to capitalize on mistakes made by its opponents. Douglas County finished with six errors that helped the Indians score at least one run every inning.
It began with three runs in the first on three hits and ended with four in the fourth off four more singles including consecutive RBIs from Tim Manning, Jordan Lewis and Bryce Gemmel.
Manning roped a two-run hit to left to polish off a 2-for-3, 3 RBI performance in the No. 9 spot in the order before Lewis and Gemmel pushed East Coweta into mercy-rule territory ahead by 10 or more.
Amtmann and Meyer helped get things started in the first with doubles, the latter on a tailing ball to the right-field line that scored two runs to push an early 3-0 advantage after sending nine men to the plate.
Senior Jon Banks, who drove in the other run in the first on a sacrifice fly, continued an impressive year at the plate by connecting on a single in the second while joining Meyer and Gemmel with 2 RBIs apiece.
East Coweta nearly batted around in the third and fourth while adding to the lead. Back-to-back walks by Meyer and Stephan Cruver — recently elevated from the JV — set up a rally aided by Manning’s infield single that brought home pinch-runner Austin Bellamy from third.
The game spun further out of control for the Tigers on a throwing error that allowed Cruver and Manning to score on the same play.