CANTON -- Brady Caloway and Cameron Stroup shut Woodstock out over the final six innings Wednesday to give Cherokee an important 6-2 win.
The win moved the Warriors (13-10, 4-6) into a tie with Roswell, one game out of the final playoff spot in Region 6AAAAAA.
The Wolverines (15-10, 5-5) stayed in playoff position, but they fell to a three-way tie with Etowah and Lassiter for second in the region.
“We tell the guys it’s one game at a time, but, really, it’s one win at a time,” Cherokee coach Ben Sosebee said. “We want to finish up as high as we can. If we can get to third or fourth, that’s great, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves or anything.”
Caloway got the start for Cherokee, allowing three hits, two walks and two runs with a strikeout in three innings. Stroup got the win, striking out five in four innings of one-hit ball.
“Both did a great job,” Sosebee said. “Brady really focused back in and gave us a quality start to give us a chance. Stroup was just trying to change pace a little bit. We wanted to change tempo and get a little more off-speed stuff in there.”
Offensively, Cherokee was finally able to break the game open with four runs in the fifth inning.
Tied 2-all entering the inning, Carson Mynatt led off with a triple that rolled under the bullpen bench. Adam Dorn walked and Tanner Griffith doubled deep to left field to score Mynatt.
Austin Cole and Lex Kenny also added RBI singles in the inning.
“One of our keys is sticking to the process,” Sosebee said. “Even with two strikes, we don’t want to get outside of ourselves. We want to stick to the process. I thought we did a great job of that (Wednesday). It’s something we can reflect back on when we watch the tape.”
While runs were harder to come by later in the game, both offenses started the game well.
Woodstock loaded the bases in the top of the first and got a pair of runs when David Smigelski walked and Colby Cox’s ground ball was mishandled. Cherokee answered right away, though, as Cody Montgomery's double scored Mynatt and Dorn to tie the score.
“For as young as our guys are, I thought we showed a lot of maturity for this time of the season,” Sosebee said. “It easily could have been a situation where our guys shied away, but it was a big growth moment for all those guys.”
The teams will meet again Friday for a season-ending doubleheader with much to play for.
Only Walton has clinched a playoff spot from the region, leaving five teams within a game of one another to fight for three spots.