“We had to many miscues early and couldn't fight our way back,” said A’s coach Billy Massingale. “As a coach I did love to see that even though we got down 8-1 after 4 innings we never gave up or got down. We played some iron man ball today due to some last minute injuries from several key players. Only having nine players game ready we had four guys playing new positions and I was happy to see no mental mistakes were made.”
Ryan Linden again had to make the start coming off a great outing last week. He pitched six strong innings with the Cardinals scoring two runs the first four innings.
“They got timely hits when they counted and you can’t take anything away from them, they are a really good ball team,” said Massingale.
Massingale came in and pitched the last three innings in giving up only one run, although the Cardinals loaded the bases each of the last three innings.
The A's offense started slow, getting on the board in the second inning with a lead-off walk by Josh Hindman followed by an infield hit by Matt Ghrist. Massingale hit one just off the glove of the Card’s pitcher for a single up the middle.
The best offensive output for the A's came in the fourth when the team batted around. “It was great to see this young team gel with a few new players,” Massingale stated.
New to the roster were three more Walker Valley graduates, Dalton Montgomery, Jon Robinson and Adam Hunsucker. During the four-run fourth inning Robinson led off with a triple and that fired up the A’s’ bats. “Everyone hit the ball hard that inning. Even our outs came off hard-hit line drives. We added two more runs in the bottom of the ninth to make it 9-7 but couldn't squeeze out two or three more to tie it or win it,” Massingale recalled. Defensively, Will Ellis had some big plays behind the plate. He made a great throw on a bases loaded 1-2-3 double play after a hard hit ball back to Massingale on the mound, then made a diving tag at the dish to end the top of the eighth inning.
The A’s will be on the road this weekend playing at Hixson High school against the Indians from North Chattanooga. “We look good with our new additions and plan to make it a great season. We play our championship game at AT&T field in August and I think we have a good shot of being one of the two teams trying to hoist the trophy,” said Massingale.