The Dawson County Tigers' baseball season came to an end last weekend when the defending AAA state champion Lovett Lions won a three game series at Tiger Stadium.
"I knew going in the series it was going to be tough," said Head Coach Dwayne Sapp. "Lovett won the state championship last year and the experience they gained from that is huge. Also, we really needed to take game one to have a really good chance."
The series opened on April 28 with a doubleheader. Dawson lost game one by a score of 11-2, but were able to regroup and a fired up team took game two at 7-2 to force the third game on April 29.
Dawson lost game three, 14-0.
A depleted pitching staff made it tough to stop the Lions in game three.
"If it goes to three games, he had a few more fresh arms than we had and Connor Bearden has been fighting a back issue," said Sapp.
Dawson got on the board first in game one after Luke Martin reached on a single and was advanced by a Noah Davis sacrifice bunt.
Brise Henson reached on a walk and Jacob Gloeckner's RBI single scored Martin to get the 1-0 lead in the second.
In the third inning, Lovett got going early and was able to bring in five runs including a triple that scored two. Dawson could only add one more in the third off a Henson single that scored Austin Young who reached on a single of his own.
The score held at 5-2 up until the final inning when Lovett bats got hot again.
Noah Davis pitched six and 1/3 innings, striking out eight, walking three and giving up six hits.
The Tigers went to Reed McAllister and Colin Glover late, but the Lions were able to score six.
In the second outing, Dawson fought back despite the Lions scoring one run in the first inning.
"I was proud at how we fought back and battled," Sapp said. "Winning game two was really a testament to how tough we are. The crowd and the support were awesome."
In the second inning, the Lions added a second run and Dawson scored on a Nate Sorrells sacrifice fly after a leadoff double by Bearden.
The Tigers tied it up in the third after a sacrifice bunt by Kolton Brumbelow advanced Hudson Sapp and Bearden smacked another double-this one to the wall in right field, scoring Sapp.
In the fifth inning, Dawson added to the lead with Palmer Sapp reaching on a single and Brumbelow being hit by a pitch. Bearden then reached on a single and a Young fielder's choice sent two across.
Sorrells then scored another run on his triple to right field.
The final runs of the game came in the sixth when Gloeckner led off with a triple of his own that hit off the left center wall. Two batters later, Brumbelow knocked his sixth of the season out of the park to score them both.
The 7-2 win forced the Saturday afternoon game three.
Lovett jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning and the Tigers were unable to answer.
Dawson held the Lions defensively through innings two, three and four. The Tigers worked through five different pitchers.
In inning five, Lovett had two home runs, two doubles and two singles to finish the game at 14-0.
Sam Stowers and Gloeckner came up with the only two hits on the day for the Tigers.
Dawson ended the season at 21-10 overall and 14-4 in region play.
"This team has had a lot of success in the last two years, 43 wins and being the 7-AAA region runner up two years in a row," Sapp said. "Making the state playoffs two years in a row and a Sweet 16 appearance last year. We have a lot to be thankful for and these boys should be proud of what was accomplished."