Commerce baseball doesn’t know when its next game will take place, but going into its March 13 matchup vs. Harding Academy the day could only be described as a “whirlwind of craziness,” according to head coach Steve Cotrell.

The craziness came from the news that the Commerce School System – along with many schools across the state – would be closing due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and with it an end to spring sports through at least March 31.

“I have no words for this situation we have been dealt at this time,” Cotrell said. “I have never seen or been part of anything like this in my 20 years of teaching. The toughest part is the unknown. Right now, nobody has answers and this is going to affect a ton of lives in many different ways. All we can do is pray for the best.”

Going into the break, the Tigers sit at 8-5. In their final week of play for the time being, Commerce dropped a game to Harding Academy 5-3 (March 13) and dropped a game to Elbert County 6-2 (March 10).

Cotrell said there were “so many distractions” ahead of the Harding Academy game that it was hard for him to “prepare myself” for the game. Even with the distractions, though, he didn’t want to make that as an excuse for the team’s performance.

“We are not going to make excuses as we did not perform well,” he said. “Not that we played bad, but that we just seemed in a fog, mentally, I thought. We hit some balls hard, that were right at (Harding Academy) and just never really got going offensively.

“On the flip side, they hit a couple of bloops – just stuck the bat out there with two strikes – that fell in when they needed them to. I hope it is not the last game and would hate it for the seniors for sure to end that way.”

Commerce led 2-0 after three innings. TJ Trudnak scored the first run on an RBI groundout by Kody Mintz. The second run came on a Will Slater sacrifice fly to centerfield, allowing Colby Rogers to score.

The lead moved to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth when a Rogers groundball turned into an error, allowing Mathew Martin to come across the plate.

In the top of the fifth, Harding got four runs on two hits with two outs. Harding outhit Commerce 9-7 in the game.

Elbert Co. 6, Commerce 2: The Tigers trailed 3-2 after three innings but the Blue Devils scored three runs over the fifth and sixth innings to put the game out of reach.

Kane Goldman finished the game with three of the Tigers’ six hits and two RBIs.


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