Wednesday wasn’t the best day to play a baseball game, but the East Coweta Indians worked through the rough conditions to defeat the Heard County Braves 8-4 in non-region action at ECHS.
EC improved to 12-3 overall on a day in which the Indians honored 2-year-old Korbyn Daniel Martinez of Orlando, a leukemia patient who is the nephew of EC assistant baseball coach Tyler Ridgeway.
The EC community – along with a donation from Heard County High – helped raise more than $2,000 to help the Martinez family pay for Korbyn’s treatments and other expenses.
The temperature at game time hovered around 40 degrees, with strong winds also contributing to some sloppiness by both teams Wednesday. Both committed at least four errors in the game.
Despite the errors, the game was tight for the first three innings. Heard led 1-0 in the top of the first inning but EC got the run back in the bottom of the first, thanks to an Ethan Darrow sacrifice fly which scored Ryan Dyal.
Dyal (2 for 4, run, RBI) singled home Nate Gick in the second to give EC the 2-1 lead, but the Braves got a 2-run single from Lee Kay in the third to give HC the 3-2 lead. EC’s Devonte Brown scored on an RBI-groundout by Trevor Gaddy in the third to tie the game at 3-all.
The Braves’ last lead was 4-3 in the fifth before EC broke the game open. Brown and Gaddy each had RBI singles in the fifth for the 6-4 EC lead, and the Indians got a run off an error and from a Cameron Jackson sacrifice fly for the 8-4 final margin.
“We started off slow, but our pitching did well and we strung some hits together late to win,” said Gaddy, a senior who had two RBIs Wednesday. “It was pretty big for us to win tonight, especially since it was important to Coach Ridgeway. We wanted to make it a special night for him.”
“I think we did well, and the pitching was nice for us,” said EC senior Emilio Morales, who went 2 for 4 with two runs scored. “As far as the weather today, that’s just baseball. You have to adjust to the cold.”
Coleman Wood started on the mound for EC, followed by Cody Rodgers and Avery Reynolds.
“It was a good team win. I tried to make good pitches, and the hitters came through when it counted,” said Rodgers, a senior who pitched 3 ⅔ innings. “Our goal is to ‘take teams’ cookies,’ and I felt we did that today.”
EC head coach Franklin DeLoach was happy with how the Indians played late in the game.
“It was a game of two halves. We were sloppy as all get out at first, but we played better once Coach Ridgeway and Coach [Mark] Bowles chewed the guys out,” DeLoach said. “I was pleased with how well we executed in the later innings and I was pleased with our three pitchers tonight. Now we’ve got to be ready for two games against Westlake.”
The Indians host the Westlake Lions in Region 2-AAAAAAA action at 5:30 p.m. today and then travel to play those same Lions at 5:55 p.m. Friday.