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Cartersville baseball competes in finals
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
May 21, 2013 09:42 AM | 2137 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cartersville’s pitcher Hayes Linn pitches during a recent practice.
Cartersville’s pitcher Hayes Linn pitches during a recent practice.
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Cartersville baseball will compete in the state finals after winning a best-of-three series, 2-0 against St. Pius in the semifinals on May 20.

The 'Canes will play the winner of the Blessed Trinity, North Hall series on May 25 in the Class AAA Georgia High School Association Baseball State Tournament.

The team made the final four of the state playoffs after defeating Dodge County 2-0 in the series last week.

With back-to-back victories, 8-2 and 5-4, the Purple Hurricanes made it quickly through the Elite Eight.

Cartersville Principal Steve Butler said he traveled to Dodge County High, located in Eastman, to see the action and was amazed at the spirit displayed by those from Cartersville.

“The excitement and enthusiasm I saw, miles away from Cartersville, is one of the many reasons I love to be here,” said Butler.

Being a former player and coach, Butler said, “At this point any team can beat any team. You have to play every inning and at-bat.”

Butler attributed the success of the team this season to the “tough competition” met at the beginning of the season as the boys played much larger schools. Participating in the Perfect Game Tournament in Florida over spring break played a large part as well, he said.

One thing Butler said has impressed him with this Cartersville baseball team is the “outstanding” group of players they have.”

“There is always a different player making the key play in a game,” he said.

Butler said he likes the fact that every game is truly a team effort and there is not simply one star player, but a roster full of great athletes.

Winning the baseball state championship in AAA in 2008 and 2009, as well as in AA in 2001 and 2002, Cartersville is no stranger to the playoffs. The ’08 and ’09 seasons were the last times the team made it to the Final Four as they were defeated in the quarterfinals every year since, until now.

Butler noted the school and community are not just fans of Cartersville baseball but all its sports.

“We are crazy about all our sports. We’ve won 10 region championships this [school] year so it’s more than just about baseball,” said Butler.

As the team gets further into the playoffs, Butler noted the excitement at the school as some of the students even drove to Eastman after they finished Advanced Placement testing.

With the school year coming to a close, end-of-the-year testing is one item Butler said makes him “feel sorry for the kids” as they are not able to fully focus on baseball and be as excited as they may like to be.
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