Of those eight games, four have been decided by two runs or less, including their last two losses against Class 5A Etowah (2-1) and defending Class 3A state runner-up Piedmont (3-1).
Another tight contest played out for the Warriors against Plainview on Tuesday. This one took an extra inning, but the Warriors dropped their third straight game by the final of 9-4 in eight innings.
“You see what kind of character you’ve got when your back’s up against the wall. We want to see who’s going to get up there and fight,” Warrior coach Jim Garmany said. “I think these kids have a lot of fight in them. They want to win. They’ve got some grit about them. They’re going to fight you from the first pitch to the last, and that’s admirable. Hopefully we’ll be on the winning end of that soon.”
Things started well enough for the Warriors (3-5). Starting pitcher Logan Pierce held the Bears (8-1) scoreless through five innings, but Plainview starter Cody Edmondson was almost equally effective.
Edmondson yielded just one run through five on a sacrifice fly by Warrior catcher Zac Bedwell that brought home Tanner Johnson in the bottom of the fourth. Johnson reached with one out on an infield single. Pierce followed with a single to right to bring up Bedwell.
Pierce was cruising along until the top of the sixth. Plainview loaded the bases with one out to chase Pierce from the game.
Warrior reliever Tyler Sterling came in and retired Plainview second baseman Cody Willingham on a fly out to first for the second out of the inning. Bear first baseman Colton Campbell followed a 3-run double to left to give Plainview the lead at 3-1. Designated hitter Easton Bevel belted a run-scoring single to right, stretching Plainview’s lead to 4-1.
The Warriors responded in the bottom half of the sixth to tie the game at 4.
With one out, shortstop Wade Griffith singled to center. First baseman Tanner Young was hit by a pitch, which gave the Warriors runners at first and second for third baseman Hunter Jolly.
Jolly, who went 2-for-3 in the game, singled home Young and took second on the throw from center. Pinch hitter Michael Spurling stepped up and belted a single to right to score Griffith. The Warriors scored their final run of the inning on a double steal, as Young swiped home to tie the game at 4 and got Pierce off the hook for the loss.
Pierce, who got a no decision, tossed 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on one hit with two walks, a hit batsman and three strikeouts.
“Logan has pitched lights out this year,” Garmany said. “I hate it that he’s working so hard and the wins aren’t coming right now, but they will. As long as he keeps us in position to win, we’re going to continue to scratch out some runs. It’ll come. It’s just some bad luck right now.”
Higgins came in to pitch for the Warriors in seventh, but danced around trouble after hitting Plainview third baseman Javier Gonzales and surrendering a bunt single to left fielder Brett Bobo. Both runners advance to second and third respectively on a sacrifice bunt by Edmondson, but Higgins retired shortstop Cole Porter on a groundout and centerfielder John David Martin on a pop out to left.
The Warriors couldn’t get much going at the plate in the bottom of the seventh, forcing extra innings.
Higgins couldn’t avoid trouble in the eighth, as Plainview batted around and scored five runs. The big blow of the inning was a two-run double down the left field line by Gonzales. Gonzales later stole home to help give the Bears a 9-4 lead.
The Warriors tried to get something in the bottom of the eighth. Centerfielder Jacob Whitmire, who went 2-for-4 in the game, walked with two outs. Second baseman Eric Burgess followed with a double to right center, but Johnson struck out to end the game.
Cherokee County looks to end its three-game skid when it travels to Gadsden City on Thursday.