With region play right around the corner, the Carrollton High School baseball team is getting some last-minute evaluations finalized before the 7-AAAAA title defense officially sets into motion.
Playing the second of three home games this week, the Trojans took care of business against Chapel Hill on Thursday evening, hammering out a 16-5, five-inning victory at Cole Field to improve to 9-3 on the campaign.
Carrollton used five different pitchers on the night, starting with senior right-hander Rhett Daniel, who got in an inning of work before turning the game over to Colin Broz, who was followed by Kannen Christian, Zeke McDonald and Destine Udombon, respectively, for the collective effort.
"We were able to get a lot of pitchers in. We're trying to get everybody rolling on all cylinders heading into region play next week," Carrollton head coach Ryan Zaideman said. "We start off region with a very good program in East Paulding, so we're just trying to fine-tune everything and get one more look at everybody."
The offense also got plenty of looks through four innings of action at the plate against the Panthers (8-7), cranking out the 16 runs on 11 hits, where a six-run second and five-run third busted the game open for the host squad.
The visitors took a brief 2-0 lead by scoring a pair of runs on two hits, a walk and an error in the top of the first, but the Trojans countered with two runs on one hit in the home half with Andy Smith connecting on an RBI single.
Carrollton really got rolling in the second, sending 11 hitters to the plate and scoring six runs on five hits, three walks, an error and a sacrifice fly.
Jared Aldridge roped an RBI double in the gap to plate Grayson Udombon, who started the rally with a single. Aldridge would come around to score on an RBI groundout by Destine Udombon.
From there, back-to-back hits by Asa Awbrey and Brandon Prince, followed by back-to-back walks to Chris Gaiter and Smith, opened the floodgates to the big frame. Jacob Cotton added an RBI sacrifice fly and Ty Murray stroked an RBI base knock to close things out for the 8-2 advantage.
After the Panthers pushed a run across in the top of the third, the Trojans answered with another big inning, scoring five runs on three hits, four walks and a hit batsman.
Gaiter had a two-run single and Cotton roped a two-run double in the inning to stretch the margin to 13-3.
The Trojans tacked on three more in the fourth on an RBI single from Smith and a two-run sky ball from Grayson Udombon.
Grayson Udombon (2-for-2, BB, run, 3 RBI), Smith (2-for-2, SB, 2 BB, 3 runs, 2 RBI) and Awbrey (2-for-3, SB, BB, 3 runs) all had multiple-hit efforts for the Trojans, who close out the week with a 6:30 p.m. contest against LaGrange this evening before traveling to East Paulding on Monday for the region opener.
Zaideman is pleased with the progress of his team up to this point and is looking forward to the challenge of getting the league slate underway following today's matchup with the Grangers.
"We're starting to see our lineup shape out where we think guys fit in and help the team the most. I also think some guys are starting to solidify those positions and we're starting to get a good idea of how guys fit into our pitching rotation and where they fit into their roles, as far as closers and mid-relief guys," Zaideman said.