After a grueling stretch over recent weeks within the GCAA, the Knights stepped out of conference for a pair of road doubleheaders. WGTC found the going tough at Cleveland State Tuesday, dropping both ends of the doubleheader, before rebounding with a sweep Wednesday against the Shorter junior varsity.
Tuesday's road trip was particularly frustrating for Coach Beau Welborn's squad. Despite holding leads in both games, the Knights simply could not hold off the Cougars of Cleveland State here Tuesday, dropping both ends of the doubleheader 7-4 and then 6-5.
In the opener, the Knights led 2-1 before allowing 2 runs in the 3rd and 4 in the 4th to fall behind 7-2. WGTC's Tony Matos blasted a 2-run homerun to left in the 5th, but the Knights could get no closer. Brock Maxwell went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI for the Knights. Payton Anderson (1-6) pitched into the 5th and took the loss.
Game 2 was tough to swallow. The Knights led 5-3 through 5 innings. Two walks to lead-off the home half of the 6th led to 3 runs for the Cougars. The Knights then stranded the potential tying run in scoring position in the 7th and fell 6-5. Avery Smith limited Cleveland State to 3 runs (2 earned) and just 3 hits through 5 innings. Chase Meyer (0-1) in relief was saddled with the loss. Maxwell again was one of the offensive leaders for the Knights, going 3-4 with 1 run scored and 2 RBI. The sophomore is leading the Knights with a .360 average, which is currently 9th in the league.
Luckily, WGTC was able to quickly put Tuesday's games behind them. After falling behind 2-0 after 2 innings in the opener, the Knights took an 8-3 lead after 5. WGTC exploded for 11 runs in the 6th, with the big blow being a grand slam by Trey Gomillion. The Hawks added a run in the bottom of the 6th for the final margin of 19-4. Caleb Dixon (3-3) gave up 3 runs (2 earned) while scattering 4 hits over 5 innings to notch the win. Justin Guyton led the Knights, going 4 for 4 with a homerun, and 3 RBI. Jacob Earley was 2 for 3 with an RBI.
In Game 2, the Knights jumped out to an 8-1 lead through 3.5 innings before the Hawks battled back with 7 runs in the bottom of the 4th, knotting the game 8-8. Both teams then plated 2 runs in the 5th making the score 10-10. The Knights took the lead for good in the 6th when Jaelyn Brooks tripled in Reagan Thomas, who reached when hit by a pitch. The Knights added a run in the 7th and held on for the 12-10 win. Zack Gaines started, pitching 4 innings allowing 8 runs (5 earned) and just 4 hits with 4 Ks. Will Humphries (1-0) picked up the win, holding the Hawks scoreless over the final two frames.
The Knights (16-24, 5-11) will be off for a couple days before beginning a series against Gordon State on April 10. WGTC will travel to Gordon for a 3 pm single game on Tuesday. The series shifts back to Carrollton with a single game on Thursday at 1 pm, followed by a doubleheader Saturday, also beginning at 1 pm.