Darton left fielder William Golden hauls in a catch during the Cavaliers’ first game against Andrew College on Saturday. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)
Winning streaks are for the media and fans. Winning is for the players and coaches.
After his team swept the series from Andrew College, including taking the final two games of Saturday’s doubleheader, Darton head coach Scot Hemmings confessed to his players that he didn’t even know the number of the streak.
For him, seeing his squad play quality baseball is enough.
“The win streak is nice, but I’m thankful that we are 20-4 in conference, which means we have a legitimate shot at winning this thing,” said Hemmings, whose team has now won 13 straight to move to 30-13 on the year. “I’m proud of our pitching and our defense because in the grand scheme of things, we are playing some great baseball.”
Darton edged the Tigers by the narrowest of margins, 1-0, in Game 1. The Cavaliers let their bats do the talking in Game 2, winning 9-3. Brandon Goldsmith had another solid outing as Game 1’s pitcher’s duel went to him.
“When it’s a close game like that I know I have to compete even harder,” said Goldsmith, whose 8-1 record has him tied for the most wins in conference. “Even if something doesn’t go my way, I can’t let it get in my head. I just have to keep throwing strikes and challenging the hitters.”
Goldsmith fanned five batters over six innings, while giving up only four hits. Davis Adkins recorded his fourth save.
The game’s lone run came in the fourth inning courtesy of Payton Mann, whose RBI double scored Brandon Sharpe.
“We’ve really started to come together as far as the offense goes,” Goldsmith said. “Guys are hitting the ball hard and buying into the plan, which helps out a lot.”
After Game 1’s aberration, the Cavaliers got back to their normal form, busting out 14 hits to go with nine runs. Knotted 2-2 in the fifth, Sharpe dropped a ball in between the shortstop and leftfielder that enabled Ventavis Jerger to come home. After a couple batters reached base, Luis Salas drove the ball over the left field wall that just stayed fair, giving him a three-run homer.
Using one of his teammates as a translator, Salas said was expecting a fastball the whole time and made the most of it when it came.
Hill Thomas, who was a perfect three-for-three with a run scored, completed the five-run inning for the Cavaliers with an RBI double. Salas was three-for-four with two runs and three RBIs, while Sharpe finished two-for-four at the plate.
With two men on and no outs for Andrew College, freshman Zack McCurry escaped trouble by only allowing an RBI sacrifice fly. Adkins got another save in a one-two-three-seventh inning.
Hemmings acknowledged that he would love to see conference-leading Georgia Perimeter lose a few, but likes the fact that his team still controls its destiny.
“All we can worry about is what we do,” he said. “If we continue to take care of business and win the next three series, we have a chance to win it.”