Facing North Oconee in round one, the Adairsville Tigers lost the series 2-0, but head coach Eric Bishop said they played “tooth and nail” with them.
“Game one was a disappointing loss, but we were still encouraged going into the second game. We gave up one run in the second and three in the third. We had runners on base, but just couldn’t get them in,” said Bishop.
Adairsville lost game one 7-0 and game two 4-1.
According to Bishop the season was “a roller coaster ride” that tested his team mentally, but they were able to win enough games at the end of the season to make the playoffs as the fourth seed in Region 5.
Prior to the first round of playoffs Bishop said North Oconee had a very talented team as they have three players that were early scholarship signers. Bishop also mentioned having “playoff history” with this team as they met in round one of the playoffs in 2009, which ended in a loss for Adairsville.
“Pitching wise they have more velocity, but we have a deeper pitching staff. We have about eight solid pitchers and will be better off if we end up in a game three situation,” said Bishop.
One pitcher Bishop mentioned as a standout was senior Neal Knight. With an ERA of 2.17 Bishop said Knight stepped up for the team.
Bishop also named junior Tristin Smith as the team’s “hottest hitter” as he leads the team with 26 hits, 13 RBIs and a .356 batting average.
Prior to playing North Oconee Bishop said this season’s team reminded him of the team from 2008 that went to the playoffs as a four seed and defeated one seed Pike County to move on to the second round.
“This team has been on the verge of doing something special all season and I feel like they’re about to turn that corner. I just want them to play with Adairsville pride,” Bishop said.
In order for his team to obtain that “same reputation,” Bishop said they would have to do better on the defensive side of the ball.
“We have to consistently play solid defense. We have had the one-inning syndrome for a while now,” said Bishop explaining how his team often has one bad inning.