Tunnel Hill — The Pickens Dragons (8-6, 2-4) were looking to salvage the series with the Northwest Whitfield Bruins (12-3, 2-1) after the Bruins took the first two games of the 3-game set. Behind a masterful performance from James Tilley and scoring 6 runs in the last two innings, the Dragons were able to pick up a 7-2 win over the Bruins.
In the top of the 1st, Connor Shouse kept his hot start going from game 2 with a lead off walk. Hunter White then hit a 1-out single. Seth Densmore then followed with a walk. Drake Sutton, was then hit by a pitch as Shouse would come in to score. Pickens, would leave the bases loaded, but the Dragons took a 1-0 lead going to the bottom of the inning. Northwest Whitfield was able to tie things up in the bottom of the 1st. Going to the 2nd, the Dragons and Bruins were tied at 1.
In the top of the 2nd, Shouse drew his second walk of the game with two outs. Shouse, stole 2nd, but was left stranded at 2nd after Northwest Whitfield forced a fly out. In the bottom of the frame, Tilley needed just 6 pitches to retire the Bruins and send us to the 3rd, still tied, 1-1.
In the top of the 3rd, Densmore and Sutton were both hit by pitches to put runners at 1st and 2nd with just 1 out. The Bruins, like they have throughout the series, got out of another jam and sent us to the bottom of the 3rd, still 1-1. In the bottom of the 3rd, Tilley improved upon his impressive outing by picking up his 4th strikeout of the game. Going to the 4th, Pickens and Northwest Whitfield were still tied at 1.
With 1-out in the top of the 4th, the Dragons had Parker Rhodes at 3rd and Shouse at 1st. The Bruins were able to force a double play to send us to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom half of the 4th, Northwest Whitfield took advantage of two Dragon errors to take a 2-1 lead. Tilley, didn’t let it get to him as he picked up his 5th and 6th strikeout to help keep the Bruin lead at only 2-1, going to the 5th.
In the top of the 5th, White got on base after reaching on an error. White, would then be thrown out at 2nd on the steal attempt. Densmore then drew a 1-out walk. The Bruins then got back to back strikeouts to send us to the bottom of the frame. In a half inning where Tilley threw 23 pitches, he and the Dragons somehow kept the Bruins from scoring to keep the score at 2-1.
In the top of the 6th, Pickens finally broke through. Trace Ledbetter led off the top half of the inning by getting hit by a pitch. With 1-out, Tilley was also hit by a pitch to put runners at 1st and 2nd. After a passed ball allowed the runners to move up a base, the hot hitting Shouse drove both runs in with a 2-RBI single. Anthony Antinozzi, kept the line going by reaching on an error. White, followed with a single to score both runs. Densmore then drew his 2nd walk of the game. White came into score after a single by Sutton. A 2nd run attempted to score behind White, but was thrown out. Going to the bottom of the 6th, the Dragons now led the Bruins, 6-2. In the bottom of the inning, Tilley once again faced a little trouble, but a couple of strikeouts help he and the Dragons get out of it with no damage done to send us to the 7th, Pickens on top, 6-2.
In the top of the 7th, Tilley got things going with a 1-out walk. Shouse followed with his 3rd single of the game. Antinozzi, drove in a run home to make it 7-2 Dragons going to the bottom of the inning. White came on in relief of Tilley who threw 106 pitches in 6 innings of work. White, was able to retire the Bruins in the bottom of the 7th to seal the win for the Dragons in game 3, 7-2.
7-AAAA Baseball Standings:
Cedartown: 9-4 (6-0)
Heritage: 10-2 (3-0)
Northwest Whitfield: 12-3 (2-1)
Central-Carroll: 7-6 (2-4)
Pickens: 8-6 (2-4)
Ridgeland: 3-9 (2-4)
Southeast Whitfield: 8-7 (1-5)
Next week, the Dragons will be back in action on Tuesday as they begin a series with the Heritage Generals. Heritage, was out of region play this week. Game 1 of the 3-game set, will be on Tuesday, March 23rd at Heritage. First pitch is set for 5:30.