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Making memories
Tigers defeat No. 1 Buford, West Hall
Baseball pic1
Catcher Colton Chester applies a tag to a West Hall base runner at home plate during last weeks game. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson Community News

It was one of the most memorable weeks in the history of Dawson County baseball.

The Tigers defeated No. 1-ranked Buford (18-1) in a 3-2 thriller on April 9 and turned around on April 11 and played in a slugfest against West Hall (14-6) and came away with a 14-12 victory.

The Tiger players are getting hot at just the right time. Senior catcher Colton Chester has hit six home runs in his last six at-bats.

Chester hit four of the homers in Friday's win over the Spartans. He also had 11 RBIs in the contest.

Senior pitcher/centerfielder Logan Burt continues to win on the mound and is on fire with his bat.

Burt hit a walk-off homer against West Hall to win the ball game. He is also using his left arm to mow down batters. Burt recorded 13 strikeouts against Buford, while giving up just two hits in the game.

Harley Pruitt is also scorching hot, he came up with the game-winning hit against Buford.

"Our seniors are really stepping up. Chester has carried us the last two games, Burt has been super all year, and Pruitt had the game-winning hit against Buford," said Head Coach Thad Burgess.

The week didn't start out so rosy for the Tigers. Dawson County traveled to Buford on April 7 and lost 12-2 in five innings to the Wolves.

Buford used a 10-run third inning to pull away for the victory.

The Tigers scored their two runs in the first inning.

Then things began to change in Dawsonville during the April 9 match-up against the Wolves.

Defense, pitching and timely hitting led Dawson County in the come from behind game, to take a 3-2 win in 10 innings.

The Tigers trailed early, 1-0, until Chester connected on a mammoth home run in the fourth inning with no one on base to tie the score at 1-1.

Buford, undefeated at the time, retook the lead 2-1 in the ninth inning on a single by Buford player Nick Wilhite.

Dawson County fought right back on Chester's second home run to tie the score at 2-2.

Freshman Luke Martin reached base in the 10th inning for the Tigers on a walk. JT Eggert then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt that advanced Martin to second base.

Stepping up to the plate was Pruitt.

Pruitt took a fast ball and lined it to right field, which scored Martin.

The celebration was on.

Burt was masterful on the mound in seven innings before being relieved by Eggert in the eighth inning.

Eggert pitched three innings with two strikeouts to earn the win.

Clemson signee Jake Higginbotham started for Buford and pitched seven innings in the loss.

"That was a great high school game. We got their best pitcher and did well. This is a great boost to our program. We will look back one day and remember this game. This is what we have been trying to do. It was a once in a career coaching victory. It was a major win," Burgess said.

The seats were packed on Friday for the game against West Hall. The Spartans had been ranked in Class AAA this season and are currently standing in third place in Region 7-AAA with a 10-5 record and are 14-6 overall.

It was Dawson County Park and Recreation night at the ball park. The future Tigers were treated with an offensive explosion by both teams.

Chester hit four home runs and collected 11 RBIs in the win.

In his first pitching appearance this season, Chester picked up the win despite giving up two seventh-inning runs.

Burt knocked a walk-off homer over the right field fence that gave Dawson County the 14-12 win.

Several Tigers had multi-hit games. Picking up two hits were Brody Chester, Burt and Zach Buchan.

Starting on the mound was JT Eggert.

"It was a big crowd on Park and Rec. night. It was a slugfest. Once again our seniors stepped up and got some big hits for us. We are just trying to finish the season with a blaze. Our community saw a great offensive game tonight," Burgess said.

This time last week it looked as if Dawson County was out of the playoff race. With the two wins last week the Tigers now have a chance to enter the playoff hunt.

Up this week for the Tigers is a trip to Banks County on Friday. Dawson County must continue to win its region games to have a shot at the postseason.

Game time is set for 5:55 p.m.

The Tigers are now 12-8 overall and 7-8 in region play.

Buford holds the No. 1 spot in Region 7-AAA followed by North Hall, West Hall and White County.