Jasper, Ga — After an exciting finish to the first game of the doubleheader, the two teams took a break to recharge and get ready for the second game. The second game, was just as exciting or even more exciting then the first game. The Dragons, again had to make a comeback as they swept the doubleheader and took the best of 3 series from the Lions with a 7-5 win in the nightcap.
The Dragons, were the visitors in the second game of the doubleheader so they had the first crack with the bats. Connor Shouse led off the game by drawing a walk. Trace Ledbetter advanced Shouse to third with a double. Shouse and Ledbetter would be brought in by consecutive productive outs by Trey Payne and Harlan Will. Going to the bottom of the first, Pickens led Central-Carroll, 2-0. In the bottom of the first, Dragons starter James Tilley needed just 6 pitches to get through the top of the Lions order as we headed to the second, with the Dragons leading, 2-0.
In the top of the second, Pickens would go down in order as the score remained 2-0. In the bottom of the frame, Tilley picked up his 1st and 2nd strikeout of the game, but the Lions were able to plate 4 runs on 4 hits to take the lead going to the third, 4-2.
In the top of the third, Shouse reached on an error with 1-out. He would eventually come around to score as the Dragons cut the Central-Carroll lead down to 4-3. In the bottom of the frame, Tilley had another quick half inning as he sat down the Lions on 9 pitches to send us to the fourth with Central-Carroll ahead, 4-3.
In the top of the fourth, Cade Sutton drew a 1-out walk and Colby Brooks legged out a 2-out single to put runners at first and second. The Lions were able to get out of that scoring threat, and send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Tilley, picked up his 3rd strikeout, but Central-Carroll added a run to their total to extend their lead to 5-3 going to the fifth.
In the top of the fifth, both Ledbetter and Trey Payne reached on a pair of infield errors. Will then moved them over with a fantastic sacrifice bunt. Tyler Payne then also reached on an error. Ledbetter and Trey Payne would come around to score to tie things up at 5 going to the bottom of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, Tate Hales came on in relief of Tilley and he was impressive in his outing. Hales, kept the game tied at 5 and sent us to the sixth inning.
In the top of the sixth, the Dragons loaded the bases after Shouse reached on a fielder’s choice, Trey Payne drew a walk, and Will was hit with a pitch. The Lions, were able to get out of that potential sticky situation and keep the game tied at 5 going to the bottom of the frame. In the bottom of the sixth, JP Nunn, yes, the same JP Nunn who picked up the save in game 1 of the doubleheader, came on in relief of Hales in the bottom of the sixth. Nunn, was able to work around some at bats by the Lions and keep the game deadlocked at 5 going to the top of the seventh.
In the top of the seventh, Antinozzi and Sutton reached on back to back singles. Tilley, then reached after drawing a walk to load the bases. Shouse, put up a good battle after being down 0-2 to drive in Antinozzi with a sacrifice fly and give the Dragons a 6-5 lead. Ledbetter, then drew a walk to load the bases once again. Trey Payne followed that up by drawing a walk of his own to bring in Sutton to make it 7-5 Pickens going to the bottom of the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Nunn headed back to the mound to try to preserve the win and the series for the Dragons. The Lions, made things interesting as they loaded the bases with 2-outs. Nunn, was able to work around that and get a strikeout to seal the win for the Dragons, 7-5.
Stats for the Dragons:
Connor Shouse: 1 walk, 1 RBI, and 2 runs scored
Trace Ledbetter: 2-4 with a double, a single, 1 walk, and 2 runs scored
Trey Payne: 2 walks, 2 RBI, and 1 run scored
Harlan Will: 1 single, 1 hit by pitch, and 1 RBI
Anthony Antinozzi: 1-4 with 1 single and 1 run scored
Cade Sutton: 1-2 with 1 single, 2 walks, and 1 run scored
James Tilley: 1 walk
Colby Brooks: 2-4 with 2 singles
7-AAAA Baseball Standings:
Pickens: 7-3 (2-0)
Heritage: 6-3 (1-0)
Northwest Whitfield: 6-4 (0-0)
Ridgeland: 4-3 (0-0)
Cedartown: 4-4 (0-0)
Southeast Whitfield: 2-9 (0-1)
Central-Carroll: 7-5 (0-2)
The Dragons, will be back in action on Thursday, March 10th as they again host the Central-Carroll Lions for the third and final game of the series. With the series win already in their pocket, the Dragons will look to complete the sweep. First pitch set for 4 pm at Dunn Field at Pickens High School.