No northwest Georgia baseball team can rival the recent level of success at Calhoun, which has three state titles since 2000. With only three returning starters from 2012, the Yellow Jackets (14-5) may make another long playoff run this year, but coach Chip Henderson knows they must tighten up their play.
Three errors Monday led to seven unearned runs in a 10-2 loss at Gordon Lee. Their other losses also included defensive or mental mistakes.
"We came out of the gate real hot this year and doing what we needed to do offensively," Henderson said. "Now we're beginning to feel the effect of our mistakes. We have to cut down on our errors and be able to control the damage. We play a Region 6 team right out of the playoffs and they will be every bit as good as the teams that have beaten us."
Honeycutt giving back
Former Lakeview High School and longtime major league pitcher Rick Honeycutt, whose family still resides in Fort Oglethorpe, is making a donation to the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe baseball team, according to coach Johnny Burch.
The Warriors hope to have a ceremony before Friday's game with the Los Angeles Dodgers' pitching coach's father and Lila Archer, the wife of Honeycutt's former high school coach, presenting a check from Honeycutt's youth foundation.
"We hope to have it in place for Friday, but there are some logistics to handle first," Burch said. "The big thing is Rick is back involved with the program, which is great. He came and talked to our guys last year and they were very excited. It's just nice to have him back in the community."
Honeycutt also founded the Rick Honeycutt World Series, which helps benefit the Fort Oglethorpe Recreation Department.
Good Trojans problem
It's rare that a high school baseball coach lists one of his issues as having too much pitching, but Gordon Lee coach Mike Dunfee has such an embarrassment of riches on his staff that he's having trouble keeping his arms fresh.
Dunfee lists nine pitchers on his 17-1 team that could start for a lot of teams, including sophomore ace Conard Broom, Jake Rogers, Zach Cobb, Daniel Brooks, Branton Phillips and Adam Vandiver. With typically 18 innings a week available, however, it's not possible to get them all steady work.
"We're blessed to have some nice arms, but it's tough to get them all in," Dunfee said. "We're doing some intrasquad games just to get them some innings."
Dunfee believes the depth will pay off in the postseason where teams will play best-of-three series over two days.
"If we make it to a third game, I'll take our third guy against anybody's," he said.
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 ...