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Cavaliers get season started

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

The new-look Callaway Cavaliers took the field for their season opener on Monday, and they were leading Manchester 5-0 when the game was called in the bottom of the third inning.

The game started with a light rain, but by the time the third inning came around the conditions had deteriorated considerably.

Shortly after Luke Swann hit a grand slam to give Callaway a 5-0 cushion, the game was suspended.

Even though the Cavaliers didn’t get the full seven innings in, head coach Dusty Hubbard felt it was beneficial for the players to at least get their feet wet.

It’s a team with a lot of new pieces, with many of the key players from the semifinal team in 2019 having graduated.

“Everybody wanted to play, and finish it,” said Dusty Hubbard, Callaway’s head coach. “At least with the way it’s been raining, our guys got a chance to get out there and play. At least six of our top hitters got two at-bats, so that’s more than we could have done at practice. Hopefully it’ll do some good for us.”

Tucker Starling pitched three innings for Callaway, and he locked down Manchester’s lineup.

“He did a really good job,” Hubbard said. “The first inning was 14 pitches, three strikeouts. It was perfect. The conditions started worsening a little bit and he hit one and walked one, but in those conditions that’s kind of to be expected.”

Offensively, Justin Moore had two hits, Zach Neighbors had a double, and Swann had the big blow with his third-inning grand slam to drive in four runs.

Despite losing most members of the lineup from last year’s team that lost to Rockmart in the state semifinals, Callaway is looking to enjoy another big season.

“That’s part of it as a coach. They come, and then they go,” Hubbard said. “You just have to get that next group ready. We’re going to always set the expectations high, and we’re going to hold them to that. It’s our job and their job to get to it. It’s our job to push them, and their job to work to get to it.”

Callaway is scheduled to travel to Newnan to play Heritage on Friday.