Cardinals get senior night victory over Sayre

Published 12:16 am Friday, May 18, 2018

Senior night for GRC baseball ended in a 9-6 victory of Sayre.

The Cardinals bounced back from a weekend full of losses and turned that into a three-game winning streak this week with wins over district opponent Montgomery County, Frederick Douglass and Thursday’s win against Sayre.

The Cards managed to put up two runs at their first chance at bat.

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Joe Austin started on the mound for GRC and pitched three innings with two strikeouts and one walk.

Freshman Aaron Abner came in to relief pitch and pitched a solid game.

Austin was on a pitch count that way he will be able to come back for the tournament if needed.

Senior Cameron Dove hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning and said hitting a home run on senior night is what people dream about.

“It was a really special moment,” he said. “I didn’t know what to think. I was just trying to get up there and hit the ball and make something good happen for my team.”

Dove said getting a win on senior night was a huge boost of confidence for the Cards.

“It was our last home game except for districts pretty much,” he said. “It was a good thing that we won. We want to recognize the seniors and it was good to get the win. That’s a plus.”

Dove admits that his team had a tough weekend due to two starters being injured.

“We did have a bad weekend because two of our starting infielders got hurt,” he said. “We finally got back to playing as a team and turned things around this week with these wins.”

Head coach Matt Puckett said his team did a lot of things right this weekend that they were not executing over the weekend.

“We started hitting the ball,” he said. “Our pitchers were getting ahead in counts and were throwing strikes on the first pitch a lot of the time. We can’t get behind on that and I’ve said it all year and will continue to say it.”

Puckett said the seniors were the glue to keep the team together.

“They’ve got a lot of the mental aspect of the game in them,” he said. “They’ve been in different positions before. I like how our younger kids are picking it up and take on the role. They seem like they’re wanting to play. Like Abner coming in tonight and did a phenomenal job pitching. Those kids are the future and you’re building on something.”

Dove is pleased with how the team works together now compared to the beginning of the season but said there is still room for improvement.

“I think we could be a little better,” he said. “Our team chemistry was really bad at the beginning, but that has come together. We’ve played a lot better and we’ve been doing it together.”

Dove makes one thing clear on what he wants from the team as the post season is quickly approaching.

“I just want them to have fun,” he said. “We need to relax and play some baseball. I also want to do good for myself too and continue my college career in baseball.”

Dove will be heading to the University of Pikeville in the fall to pursue his collegiate career.

GRC will play again at home against Cooper at 12 p.m.