During the 7-5 win, the Bulldogs connected on eight hits and took advantage of four Cartersville errors. Also during the win, senior pitcher Brett Lane threw a masterful game recording six strikeouts and giving up just six hits to the powerful Cartersville hitters.
“This was a good win for Cedartown High School baseball,” said Bulldogs Head Coach Doyle Kelley. “It was (a win) we truly needed and I’m proud of each and every player on our team for their contribution in today’s game.”
Neither team led by more than two runs at any point in the contest and the game was tied twice.
Cedartown, who lost 14-4 to Pepperell one day before Cartersville smashed Pepperell 12-0, escaped three bases loaded jams in the game.
Already having scored one run and now having bases loaded in the top of the second, the Canes looked to be in prime position when their leadoff hitter stepped to the plate.
However, Lane coaxed a fly ball to centerfield that Dustin D. Little snagged to end the inning.
Two innings later the Canes loaded the bases again and this time sent their number three hitter, Zak Kesler, to the plate.
Lane quickly got ahead of Kesler with two strikes. Lane, like he did all game, threw a changeup to catch Kesler off guard and the offspeed pitch threw Kesler’s timing off as he struck out to end the inning.
Clinging to a 5-3 lead in the top of the fifth the Bulldogs escaped another bases loaded jam.
They escaped the jam by once again relying on Lane’s clutch pitching. With bases loaded and two outs, Lane quickly got two strikes on the Canes batter before throwing another changeup to strikeout the batter and end the inning.
“Brett had a great pitching performance today. He kept them off balance and hit his spots,” Kelley said. “Anytime he is on the mounds we feel good and think we can win.”
Cartersville finally chased Lane from the game in the sixth inning when they strung together three straight hits that scored two runs and tied the game at five.
Cedartown then brought in the strong armed Andrew Hutchins, who also doubles as the Bulldogs quarterback during football season.
Tyler Gilreath greeted Hutchins by smashing a single up the middle. However, Hutchins settled down and made Cartersville hit into two force plays before striking out a Canes batter on three straight pitches to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the sixth inning the Bulldogs used a two out rally to take the lead for good.
Trey Carnes struck out Little and Clay Mobbs in just seven pitches before running into trouble.
With two outs, Carnes walked Trey Kelley on an inside fastball. The walk allowed Lane to step to the plate.
Lane then yanked the first pitch he saw deep over the right centerfield fence to give the Bulldogs a 7-5 lead. A lead they never relinquished as they pulled off the upset.
“Every player on the team had their head in today’s game,” Kelley said. “(Thursday) at practice we made it a goal to beat Cartersville and we came out focused today and achieved that goal.”
Mobbs led the Bulldogs offensive attack by going 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.
Eric McGee went 2-for-4 with an RBI while Lane went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs batted in.
Cedartown 9, Haralson Co. 0
It would have been easy for the Bulldogs to have lost Monday. After all, they were coming off a huge win over Cartersville and most probably had enjoyed a big meal on Easter Sunday.
The players were just returning to school after taking a week off for spring break and were playing a Haralson County team that had been struggling.
However the Bulldogs, powered by Brett Lane’s homerun, played with a business like attitude as they dismantled the Rebels 9-0 in Tallapoosa.
Cedartown (7-9, 4-3) will return to action Saturday when they host the Armuchee Indians in a non-region game. First pitch is slated to be thrown at noon.