ECI baseball opened its week with a region matchup against Bryan County.
The Redskins came into the series with a 9-6 record while leading the region in runs scored.
To start Game 1 of the series, the Dawgs would turn to Bryce Kearson, and Bryan County would not waste any time in showcasing their offensive prowess. After giving up a pair of singles in the bottom of the first, Kearson would face the clean-up hitter, Bowman. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Bowman would take the quick route around the basepath on a homer to left field. Kearson would settle in after that, allowing just 1 more run while striking out 8 Redskin batters.
The Dawg offense would manage 3 runs on the afternoon. After a Chase Whitehead single, Pj Farnum delivered a line drive triple, plating the Dawgs’ first run. Farnum would later score on a wild pitch, closing the gap to 3-2 after two innings. Farnum would score again on a sacrifice fly by Natavus Robertson in the fifth, but that would be all for the Dawgs as they dropped Game 1, 4-3.
On Thursday, the Dawgs traveled to Savannah Christian to face one of the toughest teams in Class A. The game slipped away early as the 14-6 Raiders knocked around the youthful pitching of the Dawgs. The Dawg offense wouldn’t fare any better. Bulldog batters were held to a lone hit and RBI by Kearson, losing the contest 12-1.
The pivotal Game 2 matchup against Bryan would require a victory for the Dawgs to remain in the driver seat for a region championship. Like we have seen over the past few weeks, the Dawgs ran Trey Hughes to the mound. Hughes’ command would not be quite as sharp as usual, but still more than effective against the Redskins. The anchor of the rotation would go seven innings, allowing just 4 hits, 3 strikeouts, mixed in with 4 walks, and 1 lone earned run. Hughes has been cruising to victories by the slimmest of margins for most of his starts, and the Dawg offense felt it was time to give him a little more cushion.
Robertson would drive in his pitcher on a sacrifice fly in the first to take a 1-0 lead. A 4-run fourth inning would see the Dawgs pull out of reach. Kearson singled and would be driven in by Caleb Avery on a sac fly. Jack Walden would single in Robertson. With a runner on second, freshman Hudson Henry would launch a homer into the left field pines to extend the Bulldog lead. Hughes would drive in Charlie Rehberg in the bottom of the fifth for the last run of the game as the Dawgs secured the 7-1 victory over the Redskins to stay in the hunt for the region title.
Next up for the Dawgs will be Screven County. The first game of the series was played Tuesday with Game 2 taking place at ECI on Thursday. Look for results in a future edition of The Crossroads Chronicle. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.