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BASEBALL: Burt wins first game as DCHS head coach, Horner smacks two homers
Julian Horner and his teammates celebrate after he hit a two-run home run against Mt. Pisgah on Monday, Feb. 20. - photo by Rio White

Dawson County's varsity baseball team won their first game under head coach Logan Burt, with the Tigers beating Mt. Pisgah 14-4 at home on Monday, Feb. 13.

After falling behind early, the Tigers scored 12 runs in the final two innings of the game to run away with a strong win to begin the 2023 season.

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Senior Colton Rucker led the hitting with three doubles on the night, while Julian Horner had the highlight of the game with a two-run homer launched deep into the woods past left field. 

The deciding factor of the game proved to be plate discipline, with Dawson drawing 13 walks and scoring several times on wild pitches.

Burt was pleased overall with the team's efforts to open the season.

“For the most part, I thought we played pretty well,” Burt said. “It took us a little while to get going [but] we finally found our niche and we scratched some [runs] across when we needed to.”

With the team looking to continue developing offensively, the pitching settled during the game and allowed the Tigers to take the lead late.

Davis Glass started on the mound, with the hard-throwing righty giving up five walks before stepping aside for Joshua Priest.

Using his off-speed finesse and smart pitch location, Priest helped stabilize the game — striking out seven batters in just over three innings pitched.  

The Tigers trailed 4-2 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning but would soon be in the lead.

Dawson’s batters took what the opposing pitcher gave them, drawing walks and soon loading the bases. 

Scoring four runs in that inning to take a 6-4 lead, the Tigers extended the lead in the sixth inning, which included the long ball by Horner. 

By the end of the sixth frame, Dawson led by 10 runs and triggered the mercy rule to end the game.

With the positive start to the season, Burt is excited about what lies ahead for his team. 

“For me, this [being] my first year, to have this group of guys is special,” Burt said. “These guys love each other, play for each other and have really bought into the community [message] we’re trying to preach around here.”

Dawson’s midweek visit to Mt. Pisgah was postponed, meaning that their next game was at North Hall on Friday, Feb. 17. 

The Tigers held the Trojans to little offensive production until the sixth inning, with North Hall winning 6-1. Banks Hickman started on the mound for the visitors.

Dawson fell behind 3-0 early on after a couple of unearned runs came around following a fielding error. 

Horner would get the Tigers on the board later, belting his second home run in as many games.

North Hall would finish off the game with a few hits in the sixth inning.

The Tigers play four games this week, visiting South Forsyth on Tuesday, Feb. 21, before heading over to Emerson to play a three-game stand at the LakePoint Sports Complex.

Dawson will play Benedictine on Friday, Feb. 24, before facing Oglethorpe County and Chapel Hill on Saturday.