Chiefs’ offense limited in make-up game
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
April 20, 2014 04:00 AM | 1205 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Tristan Roberts homered in the top of the fifth inning, but that provided the only spark for Sequoyah on Saturday, which lost 6-1 to Pope in a key Region 7AAAAA game.

When Roberts hit the homer, the Chiefs (15-9, 12-6) were already trailing 6-0 in a game that was postponed from Friday because of rain.

Pope was slated to play a non-region game with Johns Creek on Saturday, but with both teams needing to make up region games, they made a swap. Pope coach Jeff Rowland said the game with Johns Creek might be played next week, though a decision hadn’t been made yet.

“It was good to get the game in with all the water,” Rowland said. “It was a big win, a nice win.”

Pope (12-10, 11-6) is making a push to finish in the top four in the region, in order to qualify for the Class AAAAA state playoffs and continue its state title defense. Sprayberry, Sequoyah and Creekview are all ahead of the Greyhounds, who now have a two-game lead over fifth-place Northview.

Sequoyah’s offense did little, finishing with just four hits — three coming from Roberts. Brian Exley’s double provided the only other hit for Sequoyah. Exley also drew a walk.

Whatever power Sequoyah’s offense lacked, Pope made up for it.

After retiring the side in order in the top of the first, the Greyhounds put up three runs in the home half. Harrison Siegal started it off with a single before Jacob Ramos drew a walk. Patrick Wiseman then hit a grounder to third, but an error on the play allowed all the runners to all advance safely.

Stephen Skruck drove in the first run of the game on a grounder to second, which was misplayed, and that resulted in all the runners reaching safely again. Ramos was able to score on the error for a 2-0 lead.

With runners on the corners and still no outs, Jacob Culberson hit the first ball out of the infield for a single to left, which plated Wiseman.

Pope added to its lead in the third. Mason Shiflett and Wiseman hit back-to-back singles to start the winning. With Shiflett on third, Shruck hit a hard ground ball to left to drive him in for the 4-0 lead.

In the fourth, Pope struck again, once more with the help on an error.

Parker Orr reached on the error and moved to second a passed ball. A bunt by pitcher Braden Zarbnisky moved Orr to third before Siegal drove him in. The second run came when the next better, Shiflett, singled to right to score Siegal, who had advanced to second on a wild pitch.

Despite the 6-0 lead, Pope didn’t feel too safe. When the teams met March 19 at Sequoyah, the Greyhounds saw a six-run lead evaporate, and the Chiefs ultimately won in 10 innings.

“I was glad we got the lead and then finished the game,” Rowland said. “Our guys needed to do that (Saturday).”

Exley started the game on the mound for Sequoyah, lasting five innings. He struck out two and allowed six runs — three earned — on eight hits and a walk.

Jacob Weems pitched the sixth inning for Sequoyah, and while he surrendered a pair of hits, the Greyhounds could not score against him.

Zarbnisky earned the win for Pope. He pitched a complete game, giving up the one run on four hits, while striking out six.

Siegal, Shiflett, Culberson and Zarbnisky each finished with two hits for the Greyhounds. Siegal, Shiflett, Shruck and Culberson each had one RBI.

Both teams will head into the final games of region play in the coming week. Pope will play at Osborne on Monday, while Sequoyah will be off until it plays at Osborne on Wednesday.

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