The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

Steaming-hot Warriors’ offense halted in final home game

Nathaniel Jordan
Eyeing down a home playoff series, the Warriors’ varsity baseball team (18-11) falls amid a hot streak to their crosstown rivals, the Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs (13-13) in the final home game of the year.

Wednesday, April 17, the Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs (13-13) traveled to Harvey Cochran Field to take on the NC Warriors varsity baseball team (18-11). Heading into the second game of a best-of-three series, NC looked to continue a hot run in which they won five of their last six games. The Mustangs, on the other hand, came off a 17-1 beatdown from the Warriors to kick off the rivalry series. 

“They [the players] don’t need a conversation… We’ve got great senior leadership out there… Those guys will lead them. We’re pretty internally motivated this time of year, they know what’s at stake, and having a big rival like Kennesaw Mountain just makes it all the more interesting,” head coach Tom Callahan said.

Since clinching a playoff spot, the Warriors have inched closer to a home playoff series, an accomplishment which remains in close reach if the Warriors can achieve a win against the Mustangs on Thursday. With an opportunity to punch a home playoff berth, senior pitcher and middle infielder Haruki Kawano (6) stepped on the mound to represent NC. Kennesaw State Owls commit Peter Jezerinac (46) took the rubber for the Mustangs. 

The Warriors’ defense opened up strong behind Kawano after a diving catch in center field by senior outfielder TJ Smith (11). Kawano would then pitch in a walk, strikeout and a groundout to top off a quick first inning.

Tennessee Volunteers commit Jay Abernathy (1), a fourth-year starter for the Warriors, led off the bottom of the inning. A hard ground ball to shortstop put Abernathy on first base. In a rare occurrence, Jezerinac managed to take out Abernathy on a pickoff. Abernathy, the number one player in Georgia, remains three steals away from NC’s all-time record. Kennesaw Mountain completed the first inning with a double play. 

Kawano clapped back with a pickoff move of his own, but it did not stop the Mustangs from loading the bases early. However, a routine double play sparked by Abernathy pulled the Warriors out of the inning. Kennesaw Mountain kept the score even as Jezerinac struck out the side, including two hot hitters in junior third baseman Parker Bare (9), and sophomore outfielder Steele Ingram (2).

The Mustangs’ bats continued to tease the Warriors in the third inning after a passed ball placed a runner on third with one out. Four straight curve balls from Kawano would send the second out away, and a fly out to junior left fielder Keenan Mobley (10) retired the Kennesaw Mountain offense.

After two more scoreless at-bats from each side, the Warriors pushed in the first run of the game in the fourth inning. Ingram kicked off the rally by forcing another error by the shortstop, and Mobley moved him over. After Mobley’s sacrifice ground ball, Bare stepped up to the plate. The Warriors sidelined Bare for nearly the entire 2024 season after he underwent back surgery, but Bare marked his long-awaited return the week prior to facing the Mustangs. In his first week back, he managed to knock a home run. In similar fashion, Bare launched a line drive to right-center field, driving Steele home for a 1-0 Warriors lead.

In the fifth inning, the defenses returned, exchanging six straight ousted batters. The Mustangs’ hitters returned in the sixth inning with back-to-back home runs to take over the lead. Kawano would only face one batter after the blasts, and the fourth-year starter would exit the inning with 93 pitches and four strikeouts. Senior pitcher and outfielder Brandon Goshay (8), entered the game with zero outs on the board. The Mustangs tacked on two runs against Goshay, and another two against sophomore pitcher and middle infielder Trevor Baker (31). The Mustangs finished the inning with a comfortable 6-1 lead.

“When you’re taking [a pitcher] out of the ball game, it’s about rebuilding his confidence, [Kawano] competed his tail off and they got some pretty good hitters, but we had to go pull him at that point. I’m super proud of the effort he gave, he was really a bulldog out there,” Callahan said.

Jezerinac pushed through for another inning but left at the start of the seventh inning with 104 pitches. Once again the Warriors started with a lead-off single, but proceeded with three consecutive strikeouts, keeping the final score at a 6-1 Kennesaw Mountain victory. 

Next, the Warriors face the Mustangs at Kennesaw Mountain High School March 18 targeting a home playoff berth in the final game of the regular season.


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Nathaniel Jordan
Nathaniel Jordan, Reporter
Nathaniel Jordan, a senior magnet student and cadet in NC’s NJROTC program,  begins his first year on the school newspaper. Jordan's deep passion for writing and research led him to his aspirations of journalism as a future career path. Outside the classroom, Jordan has played for NC’s baseball team, participated on three competitive teams in JROTC and is employed as a head instructor at Choi Kwang Do martial arts. His creative mind extends his wide range of talents into painting, skateboarding and photography. Jordan consistently constructs compelling and thought-provoking poems and is currently working on his first poetry book poetry. Jordan volunteers every Sunday at his church working in the daycare, and strives to be active in school and in his community. With his strenuous efforts to demonstrate great leadership, Jordan attained positions as assistant operations officer, platoon commander, and class leader in JROTC. Jordan also served as a magnet ambassador. Jordan’s goals on The Chant are to grow the NC community and to bring knowledge to social events, breaking news and spreading his passion and knowledge to all readers. Reaching the tail end of his high school career, Jordan hopes his variety of articles on The Chant can help grow the spirit of Warrior Nation, and ensure that nobody is uninformed.

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