First Posted: 8/8/2009
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. The East Surry/Mount Airy Junior League team jumped out to a quick start in its first game in the Southeastern regional tournament Saturday, defeating Georgia, 10-2.
The team scored three runs in the top of the first inning to set the tone and swing the momentum fully to its side.
Nik Smith led off with a walk and promptly stole second base. Jeremy Gilley then singled home Smith to give East Surry its first run of the game.
Back-to-back two-out hits from Dustin Johnson and Sam Harris plated East Surrys other two runs in the inning.
Coach Randy Sheets said the early inning success was vital to the win.
It was key, he said. We had heard that Georgia had walked through their state tournament. They had a couple of hard throwers and we lead off with a walk and showed them what style we play, being aggressive on the bases. By the second inning we were up 4-0 and they were hanging their heads. They were beat early mentally.
East Surry scored its 10 runs on just nine total hits, while Georgias two runs were both unearned.
Eric Sonafrank got the starting nod for Sheets team, going five innings before being spelled by Sam Harris and Zach Koons.
Sheets said his team was able to be patient at the plate Saturday, with East Surry drawing eight walks.
We were real disciplined at the plate for the most part, he said. We drew several walks just by being smart at the plate. With some of the speed we have its just like eight doubles, because once we get on first, we are stealing.
Sheets said Georgia managed just three outs by fly ball, with the remainder of the outs coming on three strikeouts and ground balls, something he said is very indicative of his teams style of play.
We dont strike kids out, but we make plays, he said. Its frustrating for other teams when you see batter after batter beating balls in the ground, but thats what our pitching is designed to do.
Sheets and his team were able to catch a glimpse of the remainder of the competition after their win Saturday morning.
East Surry will take on Alabama today at 3 p.m.