Cavs give Eagles baseball team season-worst lost

Kaden Corbitt flies toward first, trying to get there before the ball to give the Eagles a man on base.  

PHOTO: Brandon Bush

By Brandon Bush

brandon@msgr.com

 

To put it simply, the 2018 baseball season has been a bad one for Putnam County.

The War Eagles have been the victim of many crushing defeats on the baseball diamond this season. Whether it was a blowout at the hands of a stronger team or a winnable game that slipped through their fingers, it seemed like victory over a team not called Glascock County was just a fleeting mirage of oasis.

Unfortunately for Putnam, the situation only worsened after suffering its most demoralizing defeat of the season to the Mount de Sales Cavaliers, 16-2.

In addition to being the largest deficit in a Putnam loss yet (a difference of 14 runs), the defeat is also Putnam’s fifth consecutive loss and the fourth consecutive loss by double digits. Before their region matchup with Social Circle on Tuesday, the War Eagles had been outscored 203-71 on their way to a 2-19 record and a winless Region 8-AA record.

Though the game itself wasn’t much of a contest, tensions still rose as Mount de Sales got its bats hot early in the game to eventually bring the score to 10-0 in the fifth inning. Though the Cavaliers met the criteria to end the game early, Putnam still had another turn at the plate before Mount de Sales could earn the mercy rule victory.

“The home team, which we were, has to have the opportunity to bat before the game is called,” Putnam baseball coach Matt Riden said, explaining why the game wasn’t quite over at 10-0. “If we were not to score a run in the bottom of that inning, it would have ended.”

GHSA rules officially state “a game will end anytime that a team is 10 or more runs behind and has completed five or more turns at bat,” meaning that an RBI from Brett Pettit bringing James Mead home for the first of Putnam’s only two runs ruined Mount de Sales’ shot at going home early.

Thus, the umpires allowed the game to extend to all seven innings. A sixth inning hit from Cullen Lee allowed Jared Watson to pick up the Eagles’ second and final run of the game.

While the late-game runs inspired hope in an otherwise hopeless game, extending the contest backfired on Putnam when the Cavaliers ripped off two more runs before one Mount de Sales batter slammed an impressive, though devastating for Putnam, three-run homer, just a man shy of a grand slam.

It’s hard to say just where Putnam is hurting the most, but an evident problem for the War Eagles is a lack of confidence, something Riden picked up on early in the season when it became clear the season would be an uphill battle.

“The team puts a lot of pressure on themselves to perform,” Riden said after an earlier Washington County loss, “and, when they don’t it, gets more stressful for them.”

The stress of constantly trying to overcome adversity has been evident in this Putnam team, especially against Mount de Sales where costly mistakes – hit batters, dropped fly balls, even just completely throwing the ball over someone’s head – could have affected the outcome of the game.

Riden said that Putnam’s game with nearby Baldwin High School, which was planned for the Friday immediately following the Mount de Sales game, had to be canceled because both schools had “personal issues” with playing that day.

After Tuesday’s game against Social Circle, Putnam will have one final obstacle ahead of it before putting the devastating 2018 season behind when it hosts region runner-up Elbert County in a doubleheader on Friday.

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