By Alan Richardson sports editor
The Morgan County High School baseball team, under the direction of first year head coach, Merritt Ainslie played two games over the weekend walking away with an exciting win and one loss. The games were played at Strong Rock Christian Academy in Locust Grove in a venue that featured both private and public school participants. First Presbyterian, Tattnall Square, King’s Ridge, and Stratford Academy also participated in the event. Ainslie commented on the Diamond Day, “We played in this tournament last year and got invited to come back. It was an opportunity for us to get two quality games in on one day.” Morgan took the win 4-2 in the first outing vs.
First Presbyterian on the play of freshman Hunter Lane, who had a big day, and the arm of Justin Minor to get his second win of the season at 2-0. Lane was 2-3 in the game and 5-6 on the day. He belted out the winning RBI’s in this one in the bottom of the sixth with two outs and two strikes off a First Presbyterian’s lefty curve that he drove into right field for the game winning runs. Coach Ainslie said, “That was the difference in the game, obviously. They started a big right hander that threw about 80-85 mph and we had a hard time getting anything going against him. Justin pitched well and is now undefeated on the season.” Unfortunately, the Dogs took a heartbreaking 8-7 loss in the second game to King’s Ridge out of Alpharetta. Lane started the game giving up four runs in the first, but he found his rhythm after that. Ainslie commented, “He found his second pitch (curve ball) after that and settled in throwing it for strikes. He accounted for another RBI and was 3-3 in the game.”
The tale of the tape, according to Ainslie, was that the Dogs took advantage of some small ball opportunities to move baserunners around and get runners on base. He then added, “We made some timely miscues that allowed them to extend innings to four or five outs. They scored runs in the seventh on defensive lapses that allowed them to win the game without putting the ball in play in the seventh. The bottom line for the game was that we fought hard, didn’t give up, and came up on the short end of the scoreboard.”