Madison County’s summer season ended with a smash, even if the games don’t really count.
The Raiders rallied from a 9-0 deficit last weekend in their summer ball season finale to beat Greenbrier, 12-10, finishing the exhibition season at 8-6.
The victory over Greenbrier came in the fourth and final game of the Brookwood tournament. Madison County went 3-1 in the event.
“A lot of guys got better, and played better defense,” Raider coach Charlie Griffeth said, who noted that his team might participate in a fall league.
The Raiders, who went 21-7 this past spring, run-ruled Apalachee and Gainesville in their other two victories.
Madison County’s only loss came to Dacula, 5-4, in the second game.
The Raiders entered the tournament with a 5-5 summer record, beating Franklin County four times, losing to Winder-Barrow three times, falling twice to Brookwood twice and beating Elbert County once.
This was an important summer in terms of transition.
The Raiders must rebuild their pitching staff and offensive lineup after the graduation of seven seniors. The summer schedule provided those younger players leaping from junior varsity to varsity with much-needed experience.
“They just kept getting reps and figuring out the speed of the game … They got better and better.”
That said, Griffeth said there’s much work left to do on the mound.
“It’s still got a long way to go — throwing more strikes and having command of more than one pitch … We’ve still got a ways to go on the hill,” Griffeth said.
Offensively, Griffeth noted that Bracken Turner — who will take over at catcher next year — carried a hot bat during the summer season, hitting “four or five” homeruns.
“Bracken had a great summer,” Griffeth said.
Hayden Martin, Kyle Dean and J. Ben Hardman also hit the ball well.
Madison County also fielded a second-tier summer ball team that consisted of younger players.
Griffeth said that team played well, and some of its players could push for varsity playing time come spring.
“It’s wide open,” he said. “You never know who might put on 20 lbs. (of muscle).
Even though summer ball is over, some Raiders aren’t taking summer off.
Griffeth noted four to five guys hitting in cages two days after summer ball ended.
“They’re hungry,” he said.