The Central High School baseball team had the merry-go-round rolling in full force en route to a 12-1, four-inning victory over Wayne County to cap off a 4-0 week of pool play and secure its spot in the championship game of the 17th Annual Central Shootout on Saturday evening.
The Lions busted out 10 hits in the first two innings and ran away with the win over the Jaguars, setting up a 3:30 p.m. title tilt against the winner of today’s opening varsity showcase between Haralson County and Wayne County at 1 p.m.
Needless to say, Central coach Wes Shiver was pleased to see the offensive fireworks throughout the lineup by night’s end Saturday.
“You know, just a great job. All our guys up and down the lineup. Spencer [Lewis] led it off with a 3-0 green light. I gave him the green light and he led it off and we didn’t stop until the last inning,” Shiver said. “You know, hitting is contagious and it was definitely contagious [Saturday].”
Central got things going right away by putting up a 4-spot in the first inning, getting an RBI groundout from Wesley Long, an RBI double by Ryan Helton, an RBI single from Zach George and the Jaguars yielded an unearned run before getting the third out.
The Lions busted the game open in the bottom of the second, sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring eight runs on five hits, two walks, a hit batsman and an error.
Tucker Musick connected on a two-run single in the frame, while Corey Sullivan and Chaney Lambert came through with back-to-back RBI singles and Lewis put the exclamation point on the evening with a two-run triple.
The run support was well more than enough for Central hurler Avery Gaines, who worked four innings, allowing one run on three hits with a hit batsman and one strikeout.
“I thought he did very good. He did a good job hitting his spots and making them get themselves out. One guy made a good swing on a 2-0 curve ball, but overall, he did a great job,” Shiver said.
“Avery came out and pitched well for us and we hit and scored runs and that’s when it’s fun. Hopefully, we continue [Sunday] and end on a positive note and we continue to get ready for next season.”
And with today’s finale marking the end of summer ball, Shiver is looking forward to one last strong performance from his ball club before hanging up the cleats for a while.
Overall, he said it’s been a strong, competitive week of action and a successful Shootout.
“Again, we had a real good tournament and we had a great turnout with our crowd. Anytime you go 4-0 in a week against some good teams, I think it speaks words for what we’re trying to do here and hopefully we continue to move forward as we go into [Sunday’s] championship game,” Shiver said.