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Dawgs fall to Jackets, begin region play

The ECI Bulldog baseball team travelled to Brooklet Friday to take on the AAA Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets.

The Jackets entered the contest with a 1-2 record, having lost to Statesboro and powerhouse Benedictine.

The Dawgs would strike first in the top of the second inning. Natavus Roberston led off the inning with a single to left field. He would steal second and third while Bulldog batters went down on consecutive strikeouts. With two outs, the SEB shortstop committed an error on a Chase Whitehead pop-fly, scoring Roberston.

The Jackets would answer in the bottom half, plating 2 runs.

In the top of the third, back-to-back singles by Jeremy Jones and Bryce Kearson would lead to runners on second and third. Jack Walden would drive in Jones on a ground ball to the third baseman, and Kearson would remain stranded. The pitchers would settle in for the next two innings, keeping both offenses at bay.

Senior Trey Hughes was cruising with relative ease until the Jackets stepped in the box a third time. In the bottom of the fifth, the Jacket offense found life, manufacturing runs. Hughes walked the leadoff batter, who was sacrificed to second. Two singles later, the Jackets would take the lead with runners on first and second. That would end the night for Hughes, who would finish the with 4.1 innings pitched, allowing 6 hits with 4 walks. The two runners left on belonged to him as well.

Joseph Stewart would walk the next batter on four straight pitches, loading the bases. Back-to-back errors and a single would put the Dawgs down 6-2 after five. Robertson, again, stepped up with a single and would take two bases on a wild pitch. Freshman Hudson Henry singled to drive in Roberston. With three outs to go, the Bulldogs found themselves down by 3.

It was now the Jackets turn to struggle finding the strike zone. Jones and Kearson would earn back-to-back walks to begin the seventh. Jones and Kearson would execute a double steal on the first pitch of Hughes's at-bat. Hughes would ground out to the pitcher to score Jones. Walden would follow with a single to the third baseman, but Kearson had to be held up at third. The best man the Bulldogs could have up stepped in the box. Swinging at the first pitch, Robertson’s hit found the shortstop. However, with the game getting tight and the pressure of a fast runner like Robertson, the shortstop was unable to make an accurate throw, advancing Walden to third and Roberston to second. Kearson would score on the error, bringing the score to 6-5, with the go-ahead run on second. Unfortunately for the Dawgs, the next two batters would strike out.

The Dawgs begin region play this week against the Jenkins County War Eagles. Tuesday, the Dawgs hosted the Eagles at 5:30 p.m., but results were unavailable at press time. They will turn around and travel to Millen to round out the two-game series on Friday. On Wednesday, the Swainsboro Tigers will travel to Twin City in an attempt to avenge a 2-0 loss to the Dawgs earlier in the season. Game time will be 6 p.m.

Go Dawgs!

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