The Dawgs took care of business this past week, vanquishing region foe Portal and Southeast Bulloch to extend their record to 13-6.
Pitching game one against Portal was sophomore Bryce Kearson. He would turn in five innings of work, allowing just 3 hits and an earned run while striking out four Panther hitters.
At the plate, Bulldog batters would would chase the starter after 1.1 innings and ultimately score 8 runs in the first two innings. Leading the way for the offense would be Trey Hughes with 2 hits, 2 runs scored, and driving in a pair of RBI. Kearson, Jack Walden, and Chase Whitehead would each finish with a pair of hits. The Dawgs ended the game after five innings of play, 11-1.
In a quick turnaround, ECI would travel to Portal the following day for the second game of the series.
Freshman Andrew Chalkley would get his first start of the season. He would pitch six strong innings allowing just 3 hits and 2 earned runs while striking out 5.
The Bulldog offense continued its torrid hitting as Kearson and Whitehead each knocked in 3 runs while Natavus Robertson and Walden each added a pair of RBI. The Dawgs won Game 2, 14-2.
The final game of the week came against Southeast Bulloch. In what is always a close one, the Bulldogs were out to avenge an early season 1-run loss to the Jackets.
The Dawgs turned to Hughes to toe the rubber. He would not be as sharp as seen throughout the season, and Jacket hitters would manage 10 hits and 4 runs, all of which came off the long ball. Amongst their offensive success, Hughes did strike out 7 batters.
The Dawg offense would have to answer the offensive barrage, and that they did. Freshmen Hudson Henry went 3-3 on the day, driving in 1 run. Walden would drive in another 2 RBI with Roberston and Jeremy Jones each earning an RBI. Despite the Jackets finding the long ball, the Dawgs held strong and came out on top 5-4.
This week is a big one for the Dawgs. With the sweep of Portal, ECI has positioned themselves in contention for a region championship. The next two games are crucial as they host the Claxton Tigers, who share the second seed with the Dawgs in Region 3. If the Dawgs manage a sweep of the the Tigers, they would be the outright No. 2 and be in position to take down Metter for a region championship. A split with the Tigers makes the championship road a little more difficult, but not impossible. Game 1 took place Tuesday in Twin City, and Game 2 will be Friday in Claxton at 5:30 p.m.