BY NICHOLAS SULLIVAN
There was plenty of controversy during Woodland’s 2-1 loss to Cedartown in the first round of the Battle for Bartow Baseball Classic with multiple close calls going against the Wildcats.
After Friday’s game at LakePoint, another controversial topic came up in regards to Cedartown’s starting pitcher Dalton Bowman. According to the Bulldogs’ Gamechanger account, Bowman threw 90 pitches in Tuesday’s game against Bremen, which was playing Adairsville on adjacent field as part of the tournament.
Friday, Bowman tossed 107 pitches, but based on the GHSA’s pitch count policy, he shouldn’t have been eligible to throw any. The rules instituted in 2017 require a pitcher throwing more than 86 pitches to take three days of rest before pitching again. Bowman shouldn’t have been allowed to pitch until Saturday at the earliest.
Despite apparently having circumvented the rules, Bowman pitched incredibly well against Woodland. The senior struck out eight with three walks and two hits allowed over six innings.
It was a pair of walks and catcher’s interference that put Cedartown (4-1) in trouble in the bottom of the second inning. With no outs and the bases loaded, Peyton Posey lifted a sacrifice fly to score Scotty Smith.
Bowman, though, escaped further damage and tied the score himself with a solo homer run to right field in the fourth.
A pair of triples hurt Woodland the following inning, but Posey, who pitched six innings, worked out of trouble to stay within 2-1.
Woodland had chances over the final few frames to at least tie the game. However, the Bulldogs somehow kept the Wildcats off the board.
A runner was thrown out trying to steal third to end the fifth; two players struck out with the bases loaded in the sixth; and the potential tying run was gunned down at third in the seventh.
Toby Queen finished with two of Woodland’s four hits with Koby Stansel and Fisher Davis picking up one knock each. Posey allowed five hits and two walks but had four strikeouts. Phoenix Cramer pitched a scoreless top of the seventh with one strikeout.
Both teams will play twice Saturday. Woodland will hope to rebound against Adairsville in the tournament’s consolation semifinals at 10 a.m. Saturday before playing for either fifth or seventh place.
Cedartown is set to face Bremen again Saturday at 12:15 p.m. for a berth in the championship game with the loser settling for the third-place game. Bowman is not expected to pitch in either contest.