Coming into the 2023 season, Dawson County’s varsity baseball coach Logan Burt knew that his pitchers were going to have to play at a high level.
But this week against Gilmer, three Dawson hurlers had some of their strongest stuff all season, giving up just one combined run to help the Tigers outscore the Bobcats 26-1, sweep the series and improve to a 5-1 record in Region 7-3A.(Story continues below)
Starting on Tuesday, March 14, Trey Harvey had another solid outing, pitching a complete game while throwing 11 strikeouts on one earned run.
Banks Hickman followed that up in Wednesday’s road game with his best performance all season, with the southpaw efficiently sitting down the Gilmer lineup in a 79-pitch complete-game shutout. He also had 10 strikeouts.
Rounding out the dominant series of Tigers pitching was Joshua Priest, who only needed four shutout innings in a game that the offense provided him with 15 runs before the mercy rule was invoked.
“All three starters went out there and threw the ball really well and gave us a chance. All the credit goes to those guys,” Burt said. “There’s not a lot of stress pitches because they’re not allowing a lot of baserunners.”
After posting 5-1 and 6-0 wins in the first two games of the series, Dawson’s bats caught fire in Thursday’s home game, blanking the Bobcats 15-0.
The lone Tigers senior Colton Rucker led the way with a trio of doubles, driving in three runs as well. Leadoff hitter Jacson Rickett also had a big day at the plate, contributing two doubles and a single.
Big hits during the game included two-run singles by Julian Horner and Elijah Odom in the second inning and two-run doubles by Rucker and Davis Glass in the fourth inning.
Horner made it on base in all four of his plate appearances, drawing two walks and getting hit by a pitch in addition to his two-run single.
Overall, junior Sawyer Bearden had a strong week at the plate, combining for five hits.
A challenge awaits Dawson next week, as the Tigers play three games against Wesleyan. The first and third games will be at home, currently scheduled for Tuesday, March 21, and Friday, March 24. The middle game on the road is currently set for Thursday, March 23.