WOODSTOCK — Etowah got a pair of shutouts Friday to sweep a crucial Region 4AAAAAAA double-header against Cherokee, winning 1-0 and 4-0.
The sweep came after the Eagles (13-5, 3-3) dropped the first game of the series, but they responded to jump back ahead of the Warriors (10-6, 2-4) into fourth in the region.
“To win one is a big deal,” Etowah coach Greg Robinson said. “You want to win them both, but you can’t do that if you don’t win the first one. Baseball is a game of confidence. We had a tough outing over there, but I thought we found a way to get through it.”
Michael Sharman took the ball for Etowah in Game 1 and allowed just two walks while striking out five in a two-hit shutout that was completed when he stranded a runner at third base in the seventh inning.
Jacob Fletcher was just as good in Game 2, stranding the bases loaded in the fifth inning to finish with seven strikeouts in five shutout innings, before Adam Metivier and Nick Wilson each threw a scoreless inning to close out the game.
“They just really did a good job keeping them off balance at the plate,” Robinson said. “Sharman got us started in the first game, and once Fletcher wen out there, we really had confidence in our pitching. We needed it too. We had some timely hits, but Cherokee was doing a great job on the mound too.”
While the Eagles kept Cherokee off the boars its own offense did just enough to win.
Jake LeFevers scored Game 1’s only run on a passed ball in the fifth inning. Another passed ball scored Michael Straub and Jack Tomsey scored on a sacrifice fly in the third inning of Game 2 before Ryan Lobus’ two-run home run in the fifth gave the Eagles some breathing room.
Conor Bowen also played well in the series, finishing with four hits in the two games.
“We just had some timely hitting,” Robinson said. That’s what it was about. When we had chances to get runs in, we found ways to do it. Lobus hit a huge home run for us too. Going into the last couple innings at 4-0 is very different from 2-0.”
For Cherokee, Lex Kenny and Cameron Stroup each went three innings with four strikeouts and no earned runs in Game 1.
Zach Courtwright gave up four in 4 1/2 innings in Game 2, before Ed Manke closed the game out.
“Our pitchers are playing well,” Cherokee coach Ben Sosebee said. “That’s not our problem right now. They’ve kept us competitive in just about every game this season. We need to do a better job of finding the hits when we need them.”
Austin Cole provided two of Cherokee’s four hits in the nightcap, while Carson Mynatt and Cody Montgomery had the Warriors’ only two hits in the opener.
Both teams will continue their region slates Tuesday as Etowah travels to Woodstock and Cherokee visits Lassiter.