After a regular season that Dawson County junior varsity baseball Head Coach Tyler Baker described as “not good,” the team played its best three games of the season to emerge as the junior varsity Mountain League Championship on March 30.
“At the beginning of the season we had some guys on the team that ended up being called up to play varsity for the rest of the year so other guys had to step up,” Baker said. “We had several 8th graders on the field at all times this season and they were able to compete.”
The Tigers entered the tournament as the No. 5 team with a regular season record of 5-8 and faced off with the No. 2 Union County Panthers in a tight first-round game that ended with Dawson County edging out the victory by a thin 9-8 margin to earn a game against the top seeded Fannin County Rebels.
Gabe Gutierrez took the mound for the Tigers and pitched an impressive six and two-thirds innings to lead Dawson County to the 7-4 upset win and advance the team to the championship game against the No. 3 seeded White County Warriors.
Dawson County looked to run away with that game as they opened the contest with a nine run first inning to take a commanding lead from the very start of the game. The Warriors responded by taking advantage of multiple scoring opportunities to put points on the board in three consecutive innings to take the lead by a score of 10-9 at the end of the fourth inning of play.
The teams traded runs over the final innings and the game remained close as the Tigers took a one-run lead in the top of the seventh inning. Dawson County held off one final scoring threat from the Warriors to claim the title of junior varsity Mountain League Champions by a final score of 14-13.
Our guys played hard all year and we obviously got hot at the right time. That's the beauty of tournaments and baseball, anyone can win on any given day,” Baker said. “I think the future looks good for Dawson County Baseball.”