published Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Ringgold blasts Cats

Ringgold's Wright Hackett (2) is tagged out by Dalton pitcher Michael O'Brien (3) Friday. Ringgold defeated Dalton with a final score of 17-4.
Staff photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Ringgold's Wright Hackett (2) is tagged out by Dalton pitcher Michael O'Brien (3) Friday. Ringgold defeated Dalton with a final score of 17-4. Staff photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press

ALTON, Ga.—It’s well known that the Ringgold Tigers boast one of the deepest and most talented pitching staffs in Georgia high school baseball, but the team gets little recognition for its offense. That is about to change.

Ringgold smashed three home runs and five doubles Friday night in a five-inning 17-4 Region 7-AAA win over Dalton, giving the Tigers (6-0, 4-0) 11-plus runs in each of their wins. The 2010 Class AAA runners-up added six stolen bases and even impressed their coach with some small ball.

“We wanted to try and put pressure on them on the bases,” coach Brent Tucker said. “You throw in three or four doubles and a couple of home runs to go with the six stolen bases. and we were able to do that. We are focusing on improving on the bases this year, and we even had a big sacrifice bunt and guys giving themselves up to move runners.”

The Catamounts (6-2, 2-2) matched Ringgold’s three first-inning runs on back-to-back doubles by Blake Raber and Toombs Norman and Alex Blackwell’s tying single off Colton Cross. Norman, who injured his knee last year in football, had to leave the game after limping noticeably rounding the bases.

Ringgold confidently scored four times in the second, the big hit a two-run double by Zack Lance, and added two runs in the third on Matthew Crownover’s double. An Austin Parrish sacrifice bunt with no outs helped lead to the big second inning.

“We hit the ball well tonight,” said Lance, who had two doubles and three RBIs. “Colton had a rough start, but he settled down. Our motto is to win every inning, and we did that tonight. It makes [the pitchers] more comfortable knowing we can put some big innings together. Austin’s bunt in that second inning was really a big play, and it’s those types of things we’re doing better.”

Dalton got one run back on Raber’s long homer, but the Tigers put the game away with a seven-run fourth that featured back-to-back homers from Allen Mocahbee and Parrish.

Cross helped himself with three hits and three RBIs, and Crownover had three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored.

about Lindsey Young...

Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...

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