“We won a game yesterday. We win one today that’s 2 in a row. We win one tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak. It has happened before.”  – Lou Brown, Major League II

After a Spring Break that felt like an eternity it was time for the Cougars to return to their regularly scheduled programming as they returned to the friendly confines of the Cougar Den (commonly referred to as Roswell Area Park).  This week the Purple Pumas faced off against an up-and-coming program of homeschool students hailing from the mountains of Dawsonville who call themselves the North Georgia Tribe.  Looking to see how they match up to bigger schools the Tribe thought they would see if TCS was the challenge they were looking for.

Tribe Goes Cougar Hunting, Winds Up Cat Food

This week saw a beautiful day for baseball as the TCS Cougars hosted the young North Georgia Tribe in the first of hopefully many matchups to come over the years.  As coaches from both sides of the diamond sized each other up it was safe to assume that this game would be one that would be interesting to say the least.  Fundamentally sound, the Tribe was looking to see if they could hold their own with the Cougars and eagerly awaited first pitch.  Toeing the rubber for his first start in Purple, Caden Henderson was looking to get things off the ground.  Little did he know that the Tribe leadoff batter had the same thing in mind as he lifted the second pitch of the game into left field for the game’s first hit.  After working the second batter into a favorable 2-2 count things began to get a little hectic for the Cougs as a flurry of stolen bases and mental mistakes gave the Tribe an early 2 run lead.  Instead of coming unglued, Caden showed tremendous poise as he kept himself composed and caught the Tribe sleeping with a slick pickoff move at third and a 3-pitch strikeout to end the threat in the first.

Entering the home half of the first the Cougar offense stuck to their gameplan of good at-bats and solid baserunning.  Weston and Aidan each drew great walks before Braden stepped in and ripped an RBI single to center.  Following Braden’s lead, Ronnie stepped in and singled as well.  This knock scored both Aidan and Braden and gave the Cougars their first lead of the game.  After a balk by the Tribe pitcher, a hit batter to Ben Johnson and a double steal by both Ronnie and Ben it seemed as though the game was about to be blown wide open as TCS had runners on second and third with no outs.  Unfortunately, that would not be the case as Caden, Alex Hogg and Jack Kane would go 1-2-3 care of two pop outs and a strike out.  At the end of one, the score read TCS-3, NG Tribe-2.

Transitioning into the top of the second, Caden retook the mound as he hoped to distance himself from the struggles, he faced in the first.  Unfortunately, this would not be the case as the first two batters would reach via walks before the first out was recorded care of a fielder’s choice.  After this, Caden tweaked his knee and was promptly pulled out of precaution and gave way to Ronnie Graver coming in for relief and Hayden Crosbie taking over behind the plate.  Sadly, this did not seem to solve the TCS issues as a couple of passed balls led to a lead change.  Fortunately, this is where things would stay as the damage was limited by the next two batters being retired by a groundout and strikeout, respectively.  Through one and a half, the score now sat at Tribe- 5, Cougars- 3.

Looking to get back on top, the offense went back to work in the bottom half of the second with the 9-hole hitter, Anthony Kovach, leading off. Wasting no time at all, Anthony took four straight pitches to wind up on first and in the blink of an eye made his way around to third via a stolen base and a passed ball.  With a runner already in scoring position Weston and Aidan both were able to record their first hits of the game as well as their first RBIs as Weston drove home Anthony and Aidan drove home Weston.  Braden and Ronnie then both followed with walks and loading the bases before Ben Johnson joined the RBI club with one of his own.  With the bases still loaded Braden Kramer took advantage of the lackadaisical defense and padded the lead with a steal of home plate.  Things once again looked to be rolling for the Mauve Mountain Lions before, once again, stalling at the bottom of the order.  Alex Hogg popped into a double play that led both he and Ronnie to the bench before Jack swung through three pitches to end the threat and the inning.  At the end of two the score was now 7 to 5 in favor of the good guys!

The top of the third inning saw yet another pitching change as Ben Johnson took to the bump to try and trump the Tribe.  Once again, this task proved to be quite a challenge as 18 pitches later the first four batters made it on base from walks.  Needless to say, the unicorn magic seemed to have run out for Ben who struggled to find the zone against the tiny Tribe batters.  Ben would go on to give up a big double and two more singles before finally getting himself out of the forgetful inning.  Although the pitching woes seemed to be the story in this inning, there were some bright signs as Braden made a slick play on a ball hit to short and threw on to Sam Bayer at first for a solid 6-3 put out.  Alas, the lead giveth and the lead taketh away as the Tribe now sat in control of a 10-7 lead with 25 minutes left to play.

With the game being so close TCS found themselves in unfamiliar territory as for only the second time this season they were trailing in the third inning.  The last time, you may remember (or want to forget) was in the season opener against CCA.  Not looking to have history repeat itself the team looked to make a statement in the bottom of the third as they would send 10 players to the plate and watch 7 of them cross! Single after single the Cougar bats came to life as the Tribe seemed completely bewildered at the sudden onslaught.  As the time limit came and put an end on the game the Cougars found themselves on top and in possession of their first winning streak in two years! The final score, Cougars 14, Tribe 10.

Next Tuesday, TCS returns to the Cougar Den for the rematch we have all been waiting for, Covenant Christian will make their way south from Cumming to try and go 2-0 against the Cougars while The Cottage School will look to rebound from their last meeting and show the Rams that this team is FAR different than the one they previously saw.

Following Tuesday’s game, Wednesday the team will travel to Bunten Park in Duluth to take on GISA 15 seed Notre Dame Academy.  More information to follow!

Game Stats

Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
NG Tribe 2 3 5 X X X X
TCS Cougars 3 4 7 X X X X

Batting

Player AB Runs Hits Walks RBI SB
3- Weston Kershner 2 3 2 1 1 1
2- Aidan Briggs 2 2 1 1 1 2
8- Braden Kramer 2 2 3 1 1 2
10- Ronnie Graver 2 1 2 1 2 1
11- Ben Johnson 2 1 2 0 2 2
5- Caden Henderson 1 0 0 0 0 0
12- Alex Hogg 2 1 0 1 0 0
14- Jack Kane 2 0 0 0 0 0
1- Anthony Kovach 2 2 1 1 0 3
7- Hayden Crosbie 1 1 1 0 1 0
6- Sam Bayer 1 0 1 0 2 2

 

Pitching

Player IP H R BB SO
5- Caden Henderson 1.1 2 4 5 1
10- Ronnie Graver 0.2 0 1 1 1
11- Ben Johnson 1.0 3 5 4 0