Kind of like an FM radio station, the hits just kept on coming.
The Callaway Cavaliers scored 25 runs in their opening-round playoff series against Central-Macon, but that was against a vastly over-matched opponent.
Would the Cavaliers be able to keep putting up big offensive numbers against a superb opponent like Appling County in the second round?
The Cavaliers, who have gotten red-hot at just the right time, enjoyed arguably their best offensive day of the season en route to a playoff sweep of Appling County on Wednesday.
After winning the first game 10-0, Callaway finished the sweep with a 15-0 victory.
In the first game, the Cavaliers had nine hits in five innings, and that included a two-run, game-ending home run from freshman Dylan Johnson, the number nine hitter.
In the second game, Callaway was even better at the plate.
In just four innings, Callaway banged out 10 hits and scored 15 runs.
In both games, it was players throughout the lineup getting it done, from Nick O’Berry at the top of the order, to Johnson in the number nine hole.
“Everybody’s ready. Everybody’s eager to hit,” O’Berry said. “That’s the biggest thing. We all pull for each other, and we want to do better than the person before us.”
It helps that the Cavaliers are as close to full strength as they’ve been all season.
Junior Kevin Craft, who missed much of the season with a back injury, has returned to the lineup and he was 2-for-2 with a walk in Game 2.
Senior infielder Jaylen Colton missed most of the season with a broken thumb as well, but he is also back, although he has been mostly used as a pinch runner.
“Everybody is contributing,” Perry Keith said. “If one person doesn’t succeed, then the next person in line steps up and picks him up. It’s a whole team thing, and everybody is pulling for each other.”
The Cavaliers have a team batting average around .330, and they’re averaging more than eight runs per game.
All of Callaway’s offensive weapons were on display against Appling County.
At the top of the order, O’Berry was on base five times with three hits, and he scored three runs.
Garrett, the number two hitter, was on base four times with two hits, and in the number three spot in the order, Cody Mimbs reached base five times, and he had a two-run single in Game 1.
Senior Chase Freeman is the cleanup hitter, and he has five of the team’s 12 home runs this season, and he had four hits and three RBIs in the doubleheader against Appling.
Craft, who head coach Dusty Hubbard said has looked more and more comfortable after coming back from his injury, had three hits.
Terry Godwin had one of the biggest hits in Game 2, a bases-loaded triple that drove in three runs and broke the game open.
Keith had three hits and an RBI, and Johnson had three hits, including the home run that closed out the first game.
Johnson also had an RBI single in the second game.
Cortney Laye got the start in the second game, and he had an RBI.
The Cavaliers had plenty of hits, but they were also patient at the plate with a bunch of walks, and they were aggressive on the base paths to put pressure on the Appling County defense.
“We did a great job running the bases,” Hubbard said. “We took the extra base on them all day. We read some balls in the dirt really well. When they missed cutoff men from the outfield, we were at second base every time.”
The Cavaliers were particularly aggressive on the bases in the first game against Appling’s number one pitcher.
“We knew we got him off his rhythm a little bit,” O’Berry said. “We were fortunate to get hits, and we did a lot on the base paths.”
Those same players did a lot of damage in the opening round against Central-Macon as well, and catcher C.J. Gallatin also got into the act with two home runs, including a grand slam in the opener.
Teams hope to peak when the playoffs arrive, and it looks like the Cavaliers are doing that.
“Everybody’s getting hot at the right time,” Mimbs said. “It was bound to happen eventually.”
The Cavaliers will try to keep the hits coming when they visit the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.