Chase Freeman knew he’d made solid contact, but he wasn’t sure if he’d gotten enough of the ball to send it over the fence.
Freeman was the fifth batter up in the bottom of the first inning, and his Callaway Cavaliers were already up 2-0 on Haralson County when he came to the plate.
Freeman got a hold of the ball, and he put his head down and raced toward first base.
“I squared it up, but I was a little out in front of it,” Freeman said. “Once I got halfway to first, I thought it might have a chance.”
The ball ended up leaving the park, and the two-run home run capped a four-run first inning.
The Cavaliers continued to swing away, and they ended up capturing an 11-1 victory in a game that was shortened to six innings because of the run rule.
The Cavaliers (9-2 overall) improved to 4-0 in Region 4-AAA heading into Wednesday’s showdown at Central-Carroll.
“Today was one of the better days we’ve had with the bats,” Freeman said. “We jumped on the first pitch a lot more, and we were aggressive.”
The pitching was exceptional as well.
Terry Godwin got the start, and after a difficult first inning, he settled down and didn’t allow a base runner in his final three innings on the mound.
Hunter Rollins, who has been a standout on the junior-varsity team, pitched two shutout innings to finish it.
“Pitching, I thought we were really good after the first inning,” Callaway coach Dusty Hubbard said. “It just took (Godwin) a little while to find the strike zone. After that, he was good.”
As for Rollins, Hubbard said “it was his first varsity outing, and he did a great job. We needed somebody to eat some innings so we could save some guys. He did a good job.”
Hubbard was also pleased with the way the Cavaliers swung the bat.
“Today, we finally hit a little bit. It’s been awhile coming,” Hubbard said. “If we can start hitting, we’ve got a chance to be pretty good.”
The Rebels were threatening to put up a big number in the first inning, but Godwin got a strikeout with the bases loaded to escape with just one run scoring.
Callaway then went to work in its half of the first inning.
Austin Garrett and Nick O’Berry were both hit by pitches, and Cortney Laye followed with a two-run double.
Two batters later, Freeman’s home run pushed the lead to 4-1.
After Godwin set the Rebels down in order in the top of the second, the Cavaliers added two more runs in the bottom of the inning.
Godwin led off with a single, and two batters later, Garrett’s triple brought him in to make it 5-1.
Garrett scored on an error later in the inning, and Callaway was on top 6-1.
The Cavaliers kept it going with two more runs in the third inning.
Freeman and Perry Keith led off with singles, and after a Colby Freeman sacrifice bunt, Godwin’s base hit brought in two runs and it was 8-1.
The Cavaliers pushed the lead to 9-1 on an RBI single by Dylan Johnson in the fifth inning.
Callaway then finished things off with two runs in the sixth inning.
Devin Brock and Laye each reached on singles, and Cody Mimbs followed with a two-run triple to extend the lead to 10, bringing the run rule into play.
Callaway now turns its attention to a Central-Carroll team that is one of the best in the region.
“They’re fighting for playoff position just like we are,” Hubbard said. “We just have to play good baseball.”