A new era in Georgia Highlands Athletics is underway with the inaugural home opener of Charger Baseball scheduled for Sunday, February 2 at Richard Bell Field in Cartersville, Georgia. The Chargers will take on the Cougars of Cleveland State Community College from Cleveland, Tennessee in a historical doubleheader to open the 2014 season. The first game is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
Coach Mike Marra is looking at this game and the following 13 games as valuable experience for a very young team before conference play gets underway on March 4. As the inaugural team for Georgia Highlands, many of the players are freshmen and won’t be used to the speed of the game at the college level. Only six sophomores are on the 30-man roster, bringing limited, but valuable experience to the team. Of the projected nine starting hitters for Sunday, eight are freshmen and will have the rare opportunity of making their college debut in a program’s inaugural game.
What they lack in experience, they make up for in pitching and defense. A confident Coach Marra said of his team, “We’re going to be a pitching team this year. The offense will come along as the season progresses and these kids gain experience. But we’re going to rely on our pitching and the speed of our defense to keep us competitive.” The goal for Coach Marra is to make the postseason in the program’s first year. “Short term, our goal is to use the next month or so to get better, to shorten the gap between the high school and college level,” said Marra. “If we can do that, I think we can be very good and have a chance to compete for the one of the six postseason berths for our conference.” The top six GCAA conference teams will make the postseason conference playoffs.
Until a permanent home field can be established, all home games will be played either at the East Cobb Baseball Complex, located at 4617 Lee Waters Road in Marietta, or at Woodland High School, located at 800 Old Alabama Road SE in Cartersville. Weekday games will be played at East Cobb and weekend game at Woodland High School. The only exception will be this weekend’s double-header at Cartersville High School’s Richard Bell Field, located at 11 Sugar Valley Road in Cartersville.
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