Dragons suffer first loss of the season to 6A SequoyahPHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports February 21, 2023
Jasper, Ga — It was makeup Monday as the Pickens Dragons welcomed the Sequoyah Chiefs to Dunn Field as part of the Pickens Mountain Classic Tournament on Monday, February 20th. This game, was originally scheduled for Thursday, February 16th, but was pushed back due to a weather threat. The Chiefs, used a 5 run top of the 5th to break the game open and come away with a 9-3 win.
In the top of the first, the Chiefs got on the board early as they scored 3 runs on 3 hits to take a 3-0 lead going to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the first, Ga Tech commit Connor Shouse, got down 0-2 quickly, but fought off a pitch to send it to right field for a lead off single. Sequoyah, was able to get a double play and a grounder to the 2nd baseman to end any potential scoring chances for the Dragons. Going to the second, it was 3-0 Chiefs.
In the top of the second, Dragons starter and Jacksonville State commit JP Nunn, settled down after a tough first inning and forced two ground outs and collected his lone strikeout of the game during a 9 pitch top half of the frame. In the bottom of the second, Pickens drew three straight 1-out walks to load the bases. The Chiefs, got out of the jam with back to back strikeouts and to keep the lead at 3-0 going to the third.
In the top of the third, the Chiefs extended their lead with a solo home run to left field to make it 4-0. The Dragons defense, then got a ground out to 3rd, catcher Tyler Payne threw out a runner trying to steal 2nd, and Nunn was able to glove a ground ball and flip it to 1st to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the third, the Dragons offense broke threw. They did that, by using patience.
Shouse, Trace Ledbetter, and Trey Payne all walked to load the bases with nobody out. Shouse, came home to score on an error to make it 4-1. Harlan Will, brought in Ledbetter on a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2. Dawson Holland, picked up the Dragons 2nd hit of the game with an RBI single to bring in Trey Payne and make it 4-3 Chiefs going to the fourth.
Nunn, carried that momentum built by the offense in the bottom of the third to the top of the fourth as he sat down the Chiefs on 7 pitches with 2 ground outs and a fly out. In the bottom of the fourth, the Dragons couldn’t get anything going as Sequoyah struck out the side to send it to the top of the fifth with the Chiefs still ahead, 4-3.
In the top of the fifth, the Chiefs added 5 runs as a 3-run double was the big blow in the top half of the frame. Going to the bottom half of the fifth, Sequoyah now led it, 9-3. In the bottom of the fifth, the Dragons got a lead off hit from Ledbetter. Trey Payne, then reached on a fielder’s choice as Ledbetter would be out at 2nd. Tyler Payne, was then hit by a pitch to put runners at 1st and 2nd with 1-out. The Chiefs, were able to get out of trouble again as they forced back to back pop ups to send it to the top of the sixth with Sequoyah up, 9-3.
In the top of the sixth, Freshman AJ Rice, did a really great job of bouncing back after a tough fifth inning as he needed 10 pitches to send it to the bottom half of the inning. In the bottom of the sixth, the Dragons again got the lead off man on as Cade Sutton was hit by a pitch. Evan Giddens then followed it up with a single to put runners at 1st and 2nd with no outs. As they had done all game, the Chiefs got out of trouble with back to back strikeouts and a fly out to keep it 9-3 going to the seventh.
In the top of the seventh, Tate Hales came on in relief of Rice and he picked up where Rice left off in the top of the sixth as Hales needed 9 pitches to send it to the bottom of the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Trey Payne led off with a walk. He then moved over to 2nd after Tyler Payne grounded to 1st. Payne would be left stranded at 2nd as the Chiefs got a strikeout and a fly out to end the game and take this one, 9-3.
Stats for the Dragons:
Connor Shouse: 1-3 with a single, a walk, & 1 run scored
Trace Ledbetter: 1-3 with a single, a walk, & 1 run scored
Trey Payne: 2 walks & 1 run scored
Tyler Payne: 1 sacrifice bunt, & 1 hit by pitch
Harlan Will: 1 walk, 1 sacrifice fly, & 1 RBI
Dawson Holland: 1-3 with a single, a walk, & 1 RBI
Cade Sutton: 1 walk & 1 hit by pitch
Evan Giddens: 1-3 with a single
The Dragons, will be back on the field on Tuesday, February 21st as they host the Union County Panthers for the conclusion of their home and home series. Pickens, won 8-2 at Union on February 14th, and will look to take the series outright with a win on their turf. First pitch is set for 5:30 pm.
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