First-year LaFayette High School baseball coach Daniel Torrenti was clearly relieved following Thursday night's 8-3 Region 7-AAA win over Walker County rival Ridgeland.
The Ramblers were routed 18-0 by powerful Cartersville in their most recent game, which could have had a lasting effect on the players, Torrenti knew, but Micah Wyatt pitched his second complete game in a week and his teammates came through with him.
"It's good to get the taste out of our mouths from the other day against Cartersville," Torrenti said. "We've talked to them about playing pitch to pitch and they did a good job of that tonight. We've still got some stuff to clean up, but we can get there."
Wyatt, who also had two of the Ramblers' seven hits, had just one perfect inning, but he stranded eight baserunners and limited Ridgeland to single runs in the third, sixth and seventh innings.
"We have a saying that you're never in trouble and you're never out of trouble," Torrenti said. "Micah got into trouble, but he got out of it. He did a great job of battling. It was a good outing because he didn't have his good stuff tonight."
LaFayette (2-3, 2-2) took advantage of five Ridgeland errors, a trouble spot for the Panthers (2-3, 0-3) so far this season. McKenzie Kelehear led off the second inning with a double and later scored on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Andy Boss. Brennan Gray's RBI groundout later in the inning made it 2-0.
Wyatt helped himself in the third with an RBI double and scored the team's fourth run moments later on Kelehear's sacrifice fly.
The bad inning Ridgeland coach Scott Harden feared happened in the fifth when two errors led to three unearned runs for LaFayette.
"We're trying some different mix with players early on, but we're struggling right now," Harden said. "The biggest thing is we're making too many errors in one inning and letting the game get away. We've got a young bunch that's eager to learn the game right now. It's a confidence thing right now. Even though we got beat 8-3, I saw some better things tonight."
Boss joined Wyatt with two hits for LaFayette, while Isaac Martin and Alex Price had two each for Ridgeland.
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 ...