published Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Heritage splits with Cass in Georgia 7-AAAA

By Idris Garcia
Cass' Brandon Etheridge slides into second as Heritage's Tristan Tennant makes the catch Wednesday at Heritage High School.
Cass' Brandon Etheridge slides into second as Heritage's Tristan Tennant makes the catch Wednesday at Heritage High School.

Offense was hard to come by and strikeouts came in bunches in Heritage High School's District 7-AAAA double header split with Cass.

The Generals dropped game one 3-2 but bounced back to earn a 3-2 decision of their own in a series that has been dominated on the mound.

Cass' Brandon Etheridge pitched a gem in game one, allowing two runs while striking out 12 in seven innings of work.

"I had my fastball working, and I was hitting corners," Etheridge said. "My curveball was good late in counts, too. I was just throwing strikes."

Generals ace Blake Hamilton had a solid game of his own, as he went the distance with six strikeouts, allowing one earned run. However, two Heritage errors would lead to two unearned runs and a loss for Hamilton.

Heritage looked to turn the tide in the fourth when a bases loaded single brought in their only two runs to knot the score, but Etheridge was too much.

"I was just able to breathe and slow the game back down," Etheridge said.

Heritage earned the split in the nightcap, behind four innings of one-run ball from Ryan Parker, who picked up eight strikeouts of his own.

The Generals found themselves behind in the second after a ground rule double by Alex Yauslin but we're able to respond with runs in the third and fourth to take the lead.

Brett Badacour was a factor in those two runs, scoring one on a wild pitch after a triple and then delivering an RBI single.

"It's exactly what we expected," Generals coach Eric Beagles said. "We knew it was going to be a dog fight. You have to execute and move runners. I'm proud of how our guys bounced back and the plays they made happen in the second game."

Finding themselves as the visitors on their home field, the Generals got an infield single in the seventh from Damian Goins, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. No. 3 hitter Logan Haga would then deliver what proved to be the game-winning run with a single to score Goins.

Things would get interesting in the bottom half, as a single and two walks would load the bases with one out. In keeping with the story of the series so far, Dylan Bice struck out the next two batters to close out the Colonels.

"Ryan gave us some great innings, then Alex [Barbee] helped out, and Dylan has filled that role for us all year," said Beagles. "It's going to come down to who gets pitching, executes and gets that timely hit, it looks like, the way the pitching has been.

The series, which has so far featured 39 total strikeouts, concludes tonight at 5:30.

Contact Idris Garcia at sports@timesfreepress.com.

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