In two spring break match-ups the Tigers varsity boys baseball team leapt out to an early lead only to see it disappear to late inning comebacks as the Wolverines surged to a 16-4 victory on the strength of a seven run fifth inning and White County scored three runs in their last two at-bats to win the duel by a final score of 4-1.
Dawson County was one of the few teams in action over spring break as they hosted the Prince Avenue Christian Wolverines on April 1 and then traveled to White County for a game against the Warriors the following day.
“Baseball is a timing sport,” Head Coach Dwayne Sapp said. “I believe while everyone else is playing that we need to play a few games just to maintain the timing and rhythm of hitting and pitching.”
Dawson County appeared to be firing on all cylinders in the opening innings against Prince Avenue as they scored a run in each of the first three innings to take and then re-take the lead at 3-2 with the game headed into the fifth inning.
The Wolverines blasted the game wide open in the fifth inning with seven runs on two walks, two errors and two hits to take a 9-3 lead. Dawson County settled down as Max Hodgson took over the pitching duties and struck-out his first batter to end the inning.
After allowing two more runs in the sixth inning, the Tigers pushed a run across the plate with back-to-back singles from Cameron Moore, Hudson Sapp, and Kristian Kelley, but the rally was cut short with a routine pop fly for the third out.
Prince Avenue padded their lead with five more runs in their final at-bat as they capitalized on six hits from the heart of their order.
The Tigers briefly threatened in the bottom of the seventh but were unable to mount the comeback and the game ended with the final score of 16-4.
Mauricio Hernandez got the start to lead off a trio of pitchers that took the mound. Combined, the three gave up 15 hits versus seven walks with only two strike-outs. Goodwin absorbed the loss for Dawson County.
Five different players picked up hits for the Tigers with Andrew Burt’s first inning RBI double being the highlight of the day.
Errors continued to plague the Tigers in their game on April 2 as the Warriors opened a first inning lead with a pair of singles combined with a pitching error from Kelley who got the start for Dawson County. The Tigers fought back to tie the game in the third inning as after Jackson Verhoven scored on a Bo Lewis sacrifice fly.
Kelley held his opponents scoreless until the fifth inning when he faced a bases loaded with no-outs situation that White County exploited for two runs to take a late 3-1 lead over Dawson County. With an insurance run in the seventh inning the Warriors kept the pressure on the Tigers as they came to the plate for their final swings.
Verhoven reached base on an error to give Dawson County an opportunity, but the team’s bats stayed cold and the Tigers dropped their second game in a row by the final score of 4-1.
The losses moved the Tigers to an overall record of 7-10 but neither game featured a regional foe, so Dawson County remained very much alive in the race for the playoffs with a regional record of 5-7.
“This week’s games will determine our chances at the state playoffs,” Sapp said. “We need to take two of these games to continue in the hunt. A sweep would give us a great chance.”
Dawson County hosted East Hall High School for the first game of a three-game series on April 8. Results were unavailable as of press time.