That formula didn’t work Wednesday night, however, as the Chiefs fell to Riverwood 9-2 on an evening that saw temperatures in the low 30s.
Sequoyah (6-1, 1-1 Region 7AAAAA) looked solid through six innings. Starting pitcher Tristan Barnes was throwing first-pitch strikes, while Jacob Cagle, Frank Ibar, Evan Ezell each reached base on their first at-bats.
The Chiefs continued to make solid contact through the fifth inning, but seemed to be hitting the ball right at the Riverwood fielders. The end result was just a pair of baserunners, who both reach on walks.
By the time the Chiefs picked their offense up in the sixth inning, it was too late.
“One thing we have focused on is making good pitches and getting ahead of hitters,” Sequoyah coach Joseph Jones said. “We were in the ball game into the sixth. We played tough defense and threw strikes.”
Riverwood (5-2, 2-0) went up 2-0 after Ricky Surum singled to left in the first inning and Terry McClure followed up with a two-run shot over the wall in left-center field. The Raiders’ bats were also quiet through the fifth, but they caught fire in the sixth.
Kyle Carruthers’ single to the left side got Riverwood started. Jalen Miller reached on a bunt, and Andrew Fisher and Matt Palmer got hits to drive in Carruthers.
Ari Fabian hit a ground ball to second, which could have been an easy fielder’s choice, but Grant Pfost threw home in an attempt to prevent another run from scoring. Miller easily scored to put Riverwood up 4-0.
It appeared that Sequoyah would get out of the inning without any further damage when Russ McGlamry entered in relief. He struck out Isaiah Dean after entering the game on a 2-0 count, and he induced a ground ball for two quick outs.
But McClure wasn’t done for the night. He doubled home Fisher, Matt Palmer and Fabian for the 8-0 lead.
The Chiefs responded in the bottom of the frame.
Ezell doubled to lead off and Chandler Smith drove him home with a double of his own. After a groundout to the pitcher by Jacob Weems, Tyler Holmes drove in Smith. A pair of fly out ended the inning.
With two runners on in the seventh, Smith took the mound in relief. Miller, who drew a walk off McGlamry, scored on an RBI single by Fabian, but the Riverwood scoring ended there.
Sequoyah was retired in order in the seventh to end the game.
“It was 2-0 until the sixth. It was a great ballgame,” Jones said. “(Riverwood is) a good team. We hit the ball hard all game, but the scoreboard doesn’t show that. They got some clutch hits when they needed them. We got some hard hits, but just right at people. Tough luck.”
Sequoyah, which will travel to North Springs on Monday for another region game, will face Riverwood again on April 4 in Sandy Springs.
“We’ll see them again,” Jones said. “Hopefully, it will be different.”