Cavaliers bounce back to split doubleheader

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 21, 2016

By Kevin Eckleberry

The Callaway Cavaliers didn’t have long to think about it.

After dropping the first game of Friday’s doubleheader to Haralson County, Callaway had about a half-hour to prepare for the second game.

After the Cavaliers lost the first game 4-3, head coach Dusty Hubbard said his message to the players was “you just have to get over it. You’ve got to go. You don’t have 24 hours, or 48 hours to get over it. We’ve got to go right now.”

Turns out, the Cavaliers had no problem turning the page.

Callaway exploded for five runs in the first inning of the second game, and it went on to claim a 9-5 victory.

The win allowed Callaway to take two-of-three games from Haralson County last week.

On Tuesday, Callaway got a 6-0 home win, and Friday’s games were played at Haralson County.

The Cavaliers are off to a nice start in Region 5-AAA play with a 2-1 record, and they’ll play the Central-Carroll Lions three times this week.

On Saturday, the Cavaliers took a break from region competition to play Fayetteville (Ark.) at the Lake Point Complex in Emerson, and they lost 5-4.

In Friday’s first game against Haralson County, Callaway trailed 4-1 heading into the seventh inning, but it pushed two runs across and had the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second.

The Cavaliers were unable to complete the rally, though, and the Rebels got the win to even the season series.

In the second game, Callaway got off to a great start with a five-run first inning.

“In the second game, we got two hits (in the first inning), and (Haralson’s pitcher) kind of imploded,” Hubbard said. “He hit two guys in a row, and walked a run in, and before you know it we were up 5-0, and that gave us some confidence.”

Josh Hanson was the starting pitcher in the second game, and he threw into the fifth inning to get the win.

After Slone Raper faced three batters in the fifth, Hunter Rollins came into the game with the bases loaded and one out.

Rollins got out of that jam with only one more run scoring, and he pitched the final two innings as well.

In the first game, Rollins also came into the game in the fifth inning in relief of Dylan Johnson, and Hubbard said he “did a great job of keeping them where they were. We gave it a great shot, and had a chance to win the game, and couldn’t do it.”

Cortney Laye hit a home run in the first game for Callaway, and Javoski Leverette, Rollins and Devin Brock each had three hits in the two games combined.

Callaway will host Central-Carroll on Tuesday, and the teams will play a doubleheader on Friday in Carrollton.

Central, one of the preseason favorites to win the region title, is in dire need of a strong showing this week after losing three games to Cedartown last week.

Also last week, another possible title contender, Pepperell, dropped two-of-three to Rockmart.

“It lets you know how crazy things are,” Hubbard said. “It’ll be a battle all the way to the end. I don’t think there’s a team you can say right now is the favorite. I think it’s going to be anybody can beat anybody if you don’t play well. You better be ready to go every day, or you will get yourself in a bind.”

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports