Rain washes out Cats vs. Raiders

By Anthony Rhoads

The Lovejoy and Riverdale baseball teams were slated to play Monday evening in a Region 4-AAAAA contest but a downpour washed away hopes of getting the game completed.

Only ? an inning was played before the game was called because of a rainstorm.

Riverdale entered the contest with an overall record of 8-11 and a region record of 3-6.

Riverdale is ranked seventh in the nine-team league but the Raiders can still qualify for the playoffs if they can have a strong finish to the season.

"Our goal is to make the playoffs," said Riverdale head coach Kelcey White, who is in his third season. "This program has come a long way in a short amount of time."

A key to Riverdale's improvement has been offense. Several players are putting up impressive numbers including D.J. Askew (.475 batting average), Rod Copeland (.395, 27 stolen bases), James Jordan (.425, three home runs, 22 RBIs), Trey Hooks (.431, one home run, 16 RBIs) and Roy Olasimbo (.422, 17 stolen bases).

Olasimbo has also produced with his glove and boasts a fielding percentage of .995. Jordan, the starting catcher, has also had a solid season defensively as he has thrown out 60 percent of baserunners.

But overall, defense has been one of the team's main weaknesses.

"We've been hitting the ball well but we've been making errors, especially with two outs," White said. "The errors have hurt us a lot because we could be 12-6 or 13-6 if it hadn't been for the errors."

Riverdale's main pitcher this season has been Josh Riggins. He has a 3-2 record and a 4.11 ERA.

"We're doing a decent job but we're really not where we should be," White said. "We should have won three or four more ball game but we've been playing better baseball."

White is in his third year as head coach at Riverdale and overall he has been pleased with how things have been going.

"The program has come a long way in a short period of time," he said. "For the most part we're playing better."

Lovejoy remains in contention for a playoff spot. The Wildcats are in sixth place with a 3-4 region record and are 6-10 overall.

"It's going to be very interesting the rest of the season," Lovejoy head coach Craig Chatman said.

Lovejoy plays at McIntosh Wednesday and will make up Monday's game against Riverdale on Thursday.

On Friday, Lovejoy will play Mundy's Mill and is slated to play Newnan Saturday in a make-up game.

Lovejoy last played on Wednesday when the team came back to beat Carver-Columbus 10-9.

In that game, pinch-hitter Jordan Chastain was the hero as he drove in the tying runs and scored the winning run.