Darton baseball coach Scot Hemmings and his Cavs, winners of 15 in a row after Saturday's doubleheader sweep of East Georgia, are one win from tying the school record for consecutive wins and two away from breaking it.
ALBANY — Darton State College head baseball coach Scot Hemmings isn’t exactly sure why his team went from average to incredible in a month.
And he really doesn’t care.
All Hemmings knows is his team, which began the season 6-4, is winning right now — to the tune of 15 in a row after a doubleheader sweep of East Georgia on Saturday.
And with the wins piling up, the Cavs are on the verge of program history.
“I mean, we haven’t pitched well during this win streak, but each game it seems like our offense bails us out,” said the second-year coach of his team, which is one win away from tying the 2005 squad’s record of 16 in a row and another victory away from make it all theirs. “Between Cody Wofford, Kyle Conkle, Casey James and Nate Ferrell, those four guys have just put us on their backs and are killing the ball right now. We’ve gotten good enough pitching to win, but the biggest key for us right now is we’re not leaving runners on base in scoring position. Every time it seems like we get a guy on second or third, we’re bringing him home. Going into the weekend, we were 12th in the nation in total runs scored.
“That’s a good stat.”
The Cavs (21-4, 8-0 in conference) will likely move up in that category after destroying East Georgia, 13-1, and 11-1 on Saturday in Games 1 and 2 of the twin bill, respectively.
To no one’s surprise, Wofford, Conkle, Farrell and James were once again the leaders at the plate Saturday.
Wofford went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI and his first homer of the season, while Conkle was a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBI. Farrell finished 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI and James turned in a 4-for-4 day with two runs scored, two RBI and a double.
John Harman picked up the win on the mound to move to 3-1, going five innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three.
In Game 2, it was much of the same, but this time it was Conkle who took to the mound to secure the win for Darton, improving to 3-0 in the process. He pitched four innings, allowed just one run on seven hits and had no walks.
Brandon Goldsmith earned the save, which was his first of the year.
Ferrell (2-for-4, two RBI, double), James (two RBI, first HR of season) and Wofford (1-for-3, two runs, two RBI) were strong once again, but a few fresh faces also made a splash at the plate Saturday for the Cavs, who moved up to No. 16 in the latest NJCAA Top 25 poll this week thanks to the current win streak.
Kody Adams was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Brandon Sharpe finished 2-for-4 with a double and two runs and Trey Haygood was 2-for-3 and scored two runs.
Wofford’s HR in the nightcap pushed his streak of hitting safely to 17 straight games, while Conkle overtook the national lead in batting average at .417 with his big game.
But there was other stats Hemmings was more focused on after the game.
“Here’s one for ya: We lead the nation in stolen bases with 88,” the coach said of the Cavs’ speed on the base path, led by freshman Riliani Familia with 17. “When you have that combination of power and speed, it can make for havoc for opposing teams.”
Hemmings also touted his sophomores for bringing a must-win attitude to the field every day and watching it rub off on his underclassmen.
“This sophomore group — and I know everybody wants to win — but this sophomore group wants to win so bad they’re adamant about not losing,” Hemmings said. “They play the game the right way, and that’s evident by this win streak. We’re just playing at a whole other level right now, and it’s a proud thing to watch.”
Darton will try to extend its win streak when it returns to action Tuesday at West Georgia Tech.