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Tigers sweep Lumpkin County behind strong pitching
dchs baseball
Senior Palmer Sapp pitched a complete game shutout Wednesday vs. Lumpkin County. Sapp struck out 10 batters in the Tigers 8-0 home win. - photo by Colin Ochs

The pitching trio of Chandler Caine, Palmer Sapp and Connor Bearden allowed a combined two runs in the Tigers three-game series sweep over Lumpkin County last week.

Caine started and ended the series for Dawson County, pitching a complete game allowing four hits and one earned run with six strikeouts in the Tigers 3-1 win in Dahlonega last Monday. Caine also pitched the final two innings in relief on Friday.

In between was Sapp’s complete game shutout last Wednesday where the senior struck out ten Lumpkin County batters while allowing only four hits in the Tigers 8-0 win at home.

Back in Dahlonega on Friday, Bearden pitched five innings, allowing one earned run on three hits with four strikeouts. Caine forced three strikeouts while only allowing one hit to earn the save as the Tigers closed out the series with a 9-1 victory.

“I’m just trying to do my part,” said Sapp about his performance last Wednesday which included a homerun at the plate. “That’s all it is. Whatever happens will happen. I’m just trying to get the wins. The win's all that’s important right now. We’ve trying to get back in this thing.”

For a team that has struggled to find consistency throughout the pitching line-up all season, this three-game stretch couldn’t have come soon enough.

After starting the region season 1-5, these three wins now have the Tigers at 6-6 in region play and move them into the fourth and final playoff spot after leapfrogging Lumpkin (4-8) and Fannin County (5-7) in the standings.

“We can’t control except for what we can control and that’s us,” Coach Dwayne Sapp said to his team about getting back into the region hunt. “Let’s just go to war, battle with these teams, try to win the games and see what happens afterwards. Let the chips fall where they may.”

Despite winning five of their last six region games, the Tigers still have work to do as their two remaining three-game region series are against third-place East Hall and top seeded North Hall who is currently undefeated in region play.

Making matters more difficult is that Fannin County’s final two series are against the bottom two teams in the region (Lumpkin and Union County) and the Rebels hold the tiebreaker over the Tigers having won two of their three games earlier in the season.

“We’re a young team. It’s as simple as that,” Palmer Sapp said. “We have five sophomores on the field most of the time and we’re learning. At the beginning of the year, it’s been a lot of learning and it’s been a lot of fun. I wouldn’t trade it with anybody else for this team. We have a lot of fun and we enjoy it.

“We’re in a battle, but we’re not scarred. If we go down, we’re going to go down fighting. We’re up for the challenge and whatever happens, happens. We’re ready to go.”