Canes Baseball Starts Season Off With a Bang; Beats Villa Rica 8-2


Photo Credit: Russell Andrews

Thomas Smith, Writer

A familiar feeling fell over the city of Cartersville on Thursday evening. It was the exciting feeling that baseball is back. The Canes won their season opener against Villa Rica 8-2 in an offensive spectacle.


Senior Auburn commit Mason Barnett started the night out on the mound for the Canes. He threw two strikeouts in the first inning, four in total, and had a good night at the plate.


In the bottom of the first inning, senior shortstop Jordan Wilkie singled and stole second base. Senior third baseman Brant Smith brought Wilkie home with a single of his own, to bring in the first run of the 2019 season.


After another good inning on the mound by Barnett, the Cartersville bats started heating up. Senior left fielder Ian Inaba doubled on a line drive down the third base line, then senior right fielder Kolby Adams hit a double to send Inaba home. To send off the second inning with a bang, junior second baseman Josh Davis doubled to send Adams home.


Mason Barnett continued his dominant performance by giving up zero runs, then proving his worth as a hitter by hitting a single in the first Cartersville at-bat of the inning. With two runners on base and two outs, senior first baseman JP Martin crushed a deep double, bringing in both runners and making the score 5-0 after three innings.


After walking two batters consecutively with two outs, Barnett’s night was over. Senior pitcher Gage Morris came in the game in relief, as Barnett moved to first base and JP Martin moved to catcher. After giving up two hits and a run, Morris ended the inning with a strikeout.


After two CHS batters walked, Jordan Wilkie hit a line drive down the first base line to load the bases. Everyone in the stands could feel the energy as Mason Barnett, one of the Canes’ best hitters, came up to the plate with the bases loaded. On cue, Barnett nailed a single to bring two runners in. Cartersville stretched the lead to 7-1 at the end of the fourth inning.


After walking two batters, giving up a hit, and a balk, pitcher Gage Morris regained his composure and threw three strikeouts. For the first time all night, the Canes didn’t score or even get a hit in the fifth inning.


Coach Tucker decided to bring in a fresh arm to close out the game. Senior pitcher Logan Martin started the sixth inning and finished out the game. He struck out two batters and gave up one run. Cartersville’s last run came on a mishandled ball by the Villa Rica catcher that brought Josh Davis home.


The Canes looked phenomenal at the plate and in the field. Cartersville threw ten total strikeouts and had thirteen total base hits. The Canes look to move to 2-0 as they play Forsyth Central at home on Saturday, in their quest for their 25th region title and seventh state championship.