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Tigers open region play with come-from-behind win
Dawson takes two of three games in Fannin series
S-Baseball pic1
Noah Davis pitched last week in the region home opener against the Fannin County Rebels. - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

Head Coach Dwayne Sapp recently talked about how difficult it is to come back from a large deficit acquired in a single inning of baseball.

So things may have looked bleak on March 8 when the Fannin Rebels came to Tiger Stadium to open region play and put up six runs in the fifth to make the score 7-0 amid a lot of vocal, negative feedback from the visitors' stands.

In the first of the three game series, the Rebels pitching looked unstoppable as lefty Will Shirah struck out 12 Tigers through those first five innings.

In the bottom of the sixth, however, Hudson Sapp reached first for the second time in the game and then Kolton Brumbelow hit the ball out of the park to make it 7-2 and provide a glimmer of hope for Dawson County.

Two hitters later, Austin Young homered to cut the lead to 4 runs and the Tigers headed to the final inning with Reed McAllister on the mound.

McAllister retired the side with three straight strikeouts and a fired up Dawson County team went back to work.

Clint Garrett singled on a hard grounder to left-center and Jacob Gloeckner also reached on a single.

Hudson Sapp again reached first, this time on his second single of the night.

That brought up Brumbelow-who quickly sent the ball out of the park for the second time.

His grand slam tied the game up at 7-7 in the bottom of the seventh with no outs.

Brumbelow, who was doubtful for the game due to illness, went 2-for-3 from the plate with six RBIs.

Palmer Sapp reached on a walk and Connor Bearden was hit by a pitch.

Young was at the plate when Palmer Sapp stole third and eventually home on a passed ball that clinched the 8-7 win for the Tigers.

"We hit well, throughout the whole series and I was pleased with that," Sapp said.

McAllister earned the win, going two and two-thirds innings from the mound where he allowed no runs, one hit and struck out six.

The Tigers traveled to Blue Ridge on March 10 for a doubleheader to finish the series. At Fannin, the teams split with Dawson winning game one 11-2 and dropping the second 10-9.

"We won a game early we probably shouldn't have and we lost a game we should have won," Sapp said.

During the first game, Nate Sorrells hit a single that scored two in the second inning to get the Tigers on the board along with a Hudson Sapp single that scored one.

A Shirah single in the first had put the Rebels up early.

The Rebels would score their only other run in the sixth inning while the Tigers continued to add to their lead in the sixth when they added four more runs off a Brumbelow walk and a double by Young.

Bearden got the win from the mound, pitching seven innings and only giving up two runs and eight hits while striking out seven.

Young had three RBIs in the game while Gloeckner had three hits.

Early in the final game of the series, Fannin went up by two in the first inning.

The Tigers scored in the second after Bearden reached on a walk and Brice Henson got on base before a Sorrells single scored one.

Early mistakes, however, would come back to haunt Dawson.

"We got a pick off and ended up in a double play," Sapp said. "We made some errors. We dropped a pop up."

During the third inning the Tigers loaded up the bases and picked up five runs on an error and doubles by Bearden and Palmer Sapp.

The Rebels answered with one run in the third and two more in the fourth to make it 6-5 in the fifth, but a game-tying run for the Rebels was called back when the runner did not touch first base.

This did not please the Fannin crowd, but one of the Rebels' runs was still counted.

"There was a call in the game where the officials made a mistake. No runs should have counted, but there is no appeals process.

"We shot ourselves in the foot and they kept fighting and kept competing and they won the game," Sapp said.

In the sixth, the Tigers added three more off a Hudson Sapp single and a Brumbelow sacrifice along with a Young walk.

The Tigers went three up and down in the seventh before the Rebels came up with four singles in the bottom of the seventh that would clinch the game.

Shirah was ejected for his behavior following the win and Fannin fans screamed for Dawson fans to leave. He will be unable to play for the next two games.

"They had fans that were kicked out of the game. They had fans who were taunting our fans. They had fans who were taunting players," Sapp said.

"It was an odd series. We very well should be 3-0 but we could be 1-2. Walking away 2-1 in that series...I guess you have to look at it like we are just one game out of the top two teams now. So there's 15 games left. There's a long time to go," said Sapp.

The Tigers play a three game series with Greater Atlanta Christian this week.

The first of the games was rescheduled from March 13 to 16 due to weather. Dawson County will travel to GAC to play at 5:55 p.m. March 16. 

The Tigers will host GAC for a doubleheader to complete the series beginning at 5 p.m. on March 17.