Prep Baseball Rainout
Final game between Newnan, East Coweta pushed to today
by Doug Gorman
Local baseball fans hoping to catch the rubber game between East Coweta and Newnan had to wait one more day.
The third and final game of the Region 3-AAAAAA series was postponed until today at 4 p.m. after heavy rains on Friday soaked Joe Pope Field. When action resumes, the two teams will play to decide who moves into first place in the region standings.
After splitting the first two games of the series, both squads are 10-1 in league play.
East Coweta entered the series ranked No. 1 in the Gasports.com Class AAAAAA Coaches’ poll. The Indians took over the highest ranking this week, moving up one spot.
Newnan jumped up three spots and is now ranked sixth in the state poll.
East Coweta opened the series against their rivals Tuesday with a convincing 12-1 victory, while Newnan evened the series Thursday with a 6-2 win. Both wins came for the teams on the road.
Pitching has been a major factor in the first two games.
East Coweta’s Zack McCurry kept his record perfect on the year with a solid performance over the Cougars on Tuesday, but Brandon Dawson was equal to the task in Thursday’s contest to help Newnan get back track.
McCurry limited the Cougars to just three hits en route to the victory, while striking out four.
He also got plenty of support from his offense as the Indians pounded out 12 hits.
Jon Banks was the offensive catalyst for the Indians in game one with a grand slam and a five RBI performance.
His home run helped spark a six-run sixth inning to help the Indians pull away.
However, the Indians couldn’t solve Dawson’s pitching in the second game of the series. The Cougars senior retired the first 11 men he faces, finished the game with six hits and gave up just hits.
“It was excited to see our kids bounce back,” Newnan head coach Kenny Morris said. “We told our kids it was about character and it was about mental toughness.”
East Coweta Franklin Deloach knew the three-game series was going to be tight.
“Today (Thursday) was a good example of good baseball, and you just tip your hat to Newnan because they played great baseball,” he said.
So far the offensive and defensive hero for Newnan has been Devin Henry. The Cougars’ right fielder has driven in five of the teams seven RBIs during the first two games of the series.
“He’s done a great job for us, he has been our hottest hitter at the plate,” said Kenny Morris.
But his last two RBIs came at high price in Thursday’s game when he pulled up with a high leg injury in the top of the sixth and had to be helped off the field.
He later left the field in crutches at the end of the contest. Before going down with an injury, Henry flexed his defensive muscles with a diving catch to keep the Indians off the scoreboard in the fifth inning. Henry showed off his offensive firepower in the first two games of the series hitting from the ninth spot in the line up.
East Coweta earned its top ranking after winning 20 of its first 21 games, but head coach Franklin DeLoach isn’t surprised the first two games with Newnan was a split.
“They got a couple of timely hits, and maybe under other circumstances, or on another day, maybe the ball is hit right at us, Deloach said. “(Thursday) was an example of good baseball. You have to tip your hat to Newnan, they played well enough to win. We are looking forward to a well-played game in game 3, it should be a really good contest.”
Both teams wrap up the regular season with a final three-game region series starting on Monday, when East Coweta hosts Westlake and Newnan travels to Langston Hughes.