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Offense is alive
Tigers pound out 38 runs last week
Baseball pic1
Dawson County pitcher Jeffrey Partington picked up a win against East Hall, 14-4 last week. - photo by Pam Jacobs Dawson Community News

The Tigers' offensive slump seems to have come to an end. Head Coach Jimmy Pruett's baseball team pounded out 33 hits to tally 38 runs while taking two out of three games from East Hall last week.

Dawson began the series on April 2 in Gainesville pulling out a 5-inning mercy rule 14-4 win over the Vikings.

Catcher Colton Chester broke open a 2-run game in the fourth inning with a mammoth homerun over the centerfield fence to lead Dawson to the 10-run win.

"The last four games we've scored a lot of runs, but before that we were in a team-wide slump," Pruett said. "But when these guys are hitting like that, we're tough to beat."

Chester, who nearly hit a second home run in the fifth on a ball that hit the top of the fence before bouncing back in for a two-run double, didn't think he had hit a home run when he first made contact.

"I didn't think it was gone until I saw (the center fielder) stop running," said Chester, who hit his third home run of the year and fifth of his high school career. "We had two runners on; I was just trying to get a base hit to drive them in."

It may not have looked like a home run when first hit, but it cleared the high fence with room to spare.

"That must have gone at least 400 feet," Pruett said.

After two innings of scoreless ball courtesy of starting pitchers Hunter Buffington of East Hall and Jeffrey Partington of Dawson County, Buffington, who was saddled with the loss, ran into trouble in the third.

An error, a bunt single and a bouncer just over the third baseman's head set up bases loaded with no outs for the Tigers.

The next Dawson County batter flied out to short left field, but with one out Levi Whitmire and Hunter Wehunt drove in a pair of runs in succession after each was hit by a pitch.

Chester drove in a third run on a fielder's choice at second base, which turned into two runs after one of East Hall's four errors of the night.

With four more hits in the fifth and the final five of Dawson County's nine runs with two outs, the Tigers put the game away.

Partington, who allowed seven hits and struck out four, pitched his third scoreless inning of the game in the bottom of the fifth.

The Tigers had five players get multiple hits, Levi Whitmire, Chester, Harley Pruitt, Tyler Thurmond and Scott Parker.

Chester had five RBI's in the contest.

The Tigers played a doubleheader on April 4 before taking a recess for Spring Break.

In the first game, the Tigers managed only four hits and lost to the Vikings 10-4.

One of the four hits was a third inning homer off the bat of Colton Chester. Chester had two of the four RBI's in the game.

The second game was an offensive explosion. Both teams connected on nine homers with Dawson County rallying in the bottom of the ninth, scoring three runs to take a 20-19 victory.

Every player on both teams contributed with a hit. The Tigers managed 16 hits while East Hall had 19 hits in the game.

Gavin Wilson had two homeruns for Dawson County followed by single shots by Hunter Wehunt, Chester, and Keaton Toal.

Chester has hit four homers in the last four games.

"This game was wild," Pruett said. "The ball was jumping off both teams' bats. We just happened to be batting last to pick up a huge win."

Levi Whitmire, Wehunt, Pruitt, Thurmond, Wilson, Scott Parker and Toal each had two hits for the Tigers.

Chester and Wilson both had 4 RBI's.

The Tigers are currently 8-7.

In order to reach the playoffs, the team must finish in third place.

Currently Dawson County is tied with Union County, for second and third, with an identical 6-6 region record.

Lurking just behind the Tigers are Rabun County, East Hall and Banks County each with 5-7 records.

Dawson County will play its last region games this week against Rabun County.

The team played at home April 10 against the Wildcats, no score was available at press time.

On Friday the Tigers will travel to Rabun County for a doubleheader that is set to begin at 5 p.m.

DCN regional staff contributed to this story.