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PREP BASEBALL NOTEBOOK

Lovejoy still maintains positive outlook

Photo by Gabriel Stovall
Lovejoy coach Craig Chatman is hoping that his inexperienced Wildcats can put together a run during the second half of the season.

Photo by Gabriel Stovall Lovejoy coach Craig Chatman is hoping that his inexperienced Wildcats can put together a run during the second half of the season.

‘If’ is a bad word right now for Lovejoy baseball.

Coach Craig Chatman’s Wildcats are not exactly where they were at this point of the season last year. On this day in 2012, Lovejoy was 14-2 and in the midst of a 15-game winning streak. This year, however, Chatman’s bunch sits at 5-6 after dropping a 1-0 decision at home against Druid Hills.

But despite losing a large senior class from a team that finished 21-7 and hosted a state tournament game, Chatman believes that the current version of Lovejoy baseball isn’t too far off.

That’s where the ‘Ifs’ come in.

If Lovejoy could have gotten any run support for ace pitcher Drew Nicholson on Wednesday, the Wildcats could’ve won behind Nicholson’s no-hit performance.

If a hard hit ball to center field was hit Thursday during calm winds instead of into an 18 mph breeze Wednesday, it goes over the fence. Instead, it got blown back into right field for a pop fly.

If Lovejoy maintains its 3-1 lead late against Alcovy last Friday, it starts a two-game winning streak instead of extending a three-game skid.

“Baseball is a game of failure,” Chatman said. “It’s just a baseball thing. It’s just the way things go. But it’s not like these kids aren’t working hard. After a loss, they come back out here and don’t lose a bounce in their step.”

Mundy’s Mill: Speaking of teams experiencing a reverse effect of last season’s fortunes, the Tigers are 6-7 overall and sitting at .500 in Region 4-AAAAA. The aforementioned slump was preceded by a 5-1 start where their only loss was a 9-8 heartbreaker to region-leading McIntosh back on March 8. The Tigers scored 67 runs during that six-game stretch, but in the last seven, they’ve only crossed home plate 15 times — just one more than their run totals in two games each against Creekside.

Ola: At 12-4, the Mustangs have come within one win of its entire total last season win total last season. Ola has won five of its last six games, including impressive wins over Mundy’s Mill and McIntosh. And what does Ola have to show for it? Sixth place in a tough 11-team Region 4-AAAAA. That’s because the region is stacked with quality teams, including fourth place Whitewater, against whom they absorbed a 19-1 drubbing, and McIntosh. Union Grove and Griffin will be the Mustangs’ next contests.

ELCA: Don’t look now, but the Chargers seem as though they’re trying to replicate the success of the school’s Class A state champion football team. At 11-0, ELCA is ranked No. 1 in the most recent GACA Coaches baseball poll. It’s their best start since the 2006 won its first 14 games en route to the Class A championship. The Chargers aren’t just barely winning games either — with five of their victories coming in games shortened to five innings or less due to the mercy rule.