The Apalachee High School baseball team saw a chance for victory get away Tuesday.
The Wildcats fell to Heritage 6-5 and slipped to 1-1 in Region 8-AAAAA. For AHS coach Mike Cavey, whose team had defeated the Patriots 3-0 Friday, Tuesday’s rematch was not only disappointing but may have long-lasting implications as the season plays on.
“We really needed to be 6-0 in the region going into our series with Loganville,” Cavey said. “For us to finish in the top four of this region, that really needed to happen. Now, we without a doubt have to be 5-1 when we face Loganville. The disappointing thing is I felt like we gave Heritage the game tonight.”
The Wildcats took an early 2-0 lead but Heritage battled back with the help of some AHS miscues. The Wildcats tied the game at 4-4 but the Patriots scored two more in the top of the fifth. AHS would get within a run, but could not retake the lead.
“The loss hurt because now we will have to count on Heritage beating some other people,” Cavey said. “This is such a tough region, you can’t let wins get away when you have the chance to get one.”
The Wildcats will play a series with both Clarke Central and Cedar Shoals before meeting No. 1-ranked Loganville.
“We have to win those four games,” Cavey said. “It’s early, but already being 1-1 is presenting a problem as far as finishing in the top four. Everyone knows how good Loganville and Gainesville are but Winder-Barrow is also very good and Flowery Branch is going to be tough.”
In order to have a chance at finishing in the top four, the mental and physical approach by his players have to be at the right levels, the AHS coach said.
“We have to have players who want it,” Cavey said. “We have to have the right mindset. These next four games will tell a lot about the rest of our season.”