The Tigers pulled out a 5-3 road win over Fannin County High School as the teams split a double-header March 22 to wrap up this season’s three-game series. The Rebels won the first two games of the week to take the series by a final tally of 2-1.
Dawson County’s Mauricio Hernandez faced 28 batters in his season debut on the mound as posted three strikeouts to hold the Rebels to three runs over six innings. Andrew Burt, also in his pitching debut, closed out the victory with a solid inning of relief.
“Mauricio did a great job of pitching this weekend. We really needed a quality start from someone, and he came through,” Head Coach Dwayne Sapp said. “Andrew Burt closed out the game. Both pitchers made their first appearance of the year and made them count.”
Offensively, the Tigers spread the ball around the field with multiple players recording a hit, but the big inning came in the fourth when Dawson County capitalized on a string of walks, pitching errors and hits to put four runs on the board and take the lead late in the game.
Senior Hudson Sapp added an insurance run, driving home Carter Turkett with an RBI double in the sixth inning and the Dawson County defense turned in an error free effort to hold off a late-game rally from the Rebels to secure the final score at 5-3.
The first game of the day’s double-header finished with the same 5-3 on the scoreboard but, unfortunately for Dawson County, the Tigers were on the wrong side of the equation.
Fannin County jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the first inning and then Rebels pitcher Carson Beavers stymied the Tigers bats with a seven inning, 13 strikeout performance that prevented any offensive momentum and held Dawson County to three runs on four hits.
Game one of the series took place in front of the home crowd March 19 and proved to be the toughest challenge of the season thus-far as the Tigers battled back to tie late in the game only to see victory slip away in extra innings.
After the teams exchanged runs in the first inning, Sapp gave Dawson County a one run lead with his solo shot in the second inning. Fannin County answered immediately and then took the lead outright in the fifth inning when they pushed another run across the plate. Catcher Bo Lewis picked up the game tying RBI in the sixth inning when he drove in Sapp on a deep sacrifice fly center field, and the teams went scoreless in their final at-bats to send the game into extra innings.
The Rebels immediately took advantage of a pair of walks issued by relief pitcher Payton Goodwin and piled up three runs before the Tigers could round up the third out. Despite a lead-off single from Sapp to start the eighth inning Dawson County was not able to mount a rally and the Tigers dropped game one of the series by the final score of 6-3.
As the Tigers prepared to host their regional rivals from Lumpkin County for a critical series, Coach Sapp talked about the team’s improvement versus Fannin County and the keys for a good showing in the upcoming series with the Indians.
“There is usually a couple of innings that any team will have to withstand a charge. We had to come from behind in this past series to have a chance to win,” Sapp said. “I like to try to score early to make things easier on the team and pitcher and sometimes it works out. Being a young team, we are still learning how to play with a lead.”
The Tigers remained in the middle of the pack in region 7-AAA with a 4-5 regional record while their overall record improved to an even 6-6. Dawson County hosted the Lumpkin County Indians for the first game of a three-game series March 25. Results were unavailable as of press time.