The Apalachee High School baseball team snapped a six-game losing streak Tuesday with a 6-2 win at Central Gwinnett, but the momentum may have come from what Wildcats coach Allan Bailey called an encouraging performance Saturday at Cool Ray Field.
Playing on the home field of the Gwinnett Braves minor league team, the Wildcats fell 2-1 to Class A Prince Avenue Christian after the Wolverines plated the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“I was a little worried over how we would react because it’s such an impressive stadium, but our guys gave it their very best effort,” Bailey said. “It was probably one of the best games we’ve played all season. We only had a handful of strikeouts and we hit the baseball all over the field. It was just right at them most of the time.”
Apalachee (2-8) was tasked with facing 6-foot-5 Prince Avenue sophomore pitcher Cain Tatum, who has already committed to Georgia, and managed just four hits off him.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth on Chase Chancey’s RBI single, but the Wolverines tied the game in the bottom of the frame on a two-out RBI hit.
Apalachee threatened to score in the seventh, getting runners on second and third, but couldn’t push them across.
The Wolverines won the game when a man reached base with two outs and scored on a blooper over short. Gunnar Wright had a triple in the losing effort while Hunter Linhart and Nate Hodnett added doubles.
Dustin Sexton threw five shutout innings on the mound for the Wildcats, striking out seven before turning the game over to Jarrett Wallace.
“We had some bad luck in the seventh, but overall it was a very clean game,” Bailey said. “Both teams played well. Unfortunately someone had to lose, but it was a great experience for our kids.”
The Wildcats have one more non-region tune-up Thursday when they host Oconee County at 5:55 p.m.
Then next week GHSA Region 8-AAAAAA starts. Apalachee will open a three-game series with Habersham Central at home Monday at 5:55 p.m.
“Everything is still in front of us and the region is where we’re looking to make some noise,” Bailey said.
“We’ve had a really tough non-region schedule and seen some really good arms. I’d like to think that’s going to put us in a good position for seeing some of these very good teams in our region.
“We would liked to have won a few more of these games, but we’re taking a learning experience from each of them.
“The kids are still working hard and have really bought into what we’re trying to do.”
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