Dragons open series against Warriors with road winPHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports March 15, 2023
Cleveland, Ga — It was a chilly day for baseball on Tuesday, March 14th as the Pickens Dragons made the trip up to Cleveland to begin their 2nd 7-AAA series against the White County Warriors. After the first week of region play, the Dragons found themselves tied with Lumpkin and Dawson for 1st at 2-1. In what was a back and forth game, the Dragons edged out the Warriors, 4-3.
In the top of the first, Connor Shouse led off by reaching on an error. Trace Ledbetter, followed by drawing a walk on four straight pitches. Trey Payne, moved them over to 2nd and 3rd on a sacrifice bunt. Tyler Payne, then drove in Shouse to make it 1-0 going to the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the first, Shouse, sat the Warriors down in order with a pop up and 2 ground outs to send it to the second with the Dragons leading, 1-0.
In the top of the second, James Tilley reached on a full count walk with 2-outs. Evan Giddens, then followed with a single. Tilley, would come around to score on the play to make it 2-0 Dragons. Shouse, kept the inning going by drawing a walk. The Warriors, got out of the top of the second after a pop out to send it to the bottom of the frame. In the bottom of the second, White County had their lead off man reach on a 2-base error.
That runner, would come around to score to cut the Pickens lead to 2-1 going to the top of the third.
In the top of the third, the Dragons went down in order as they went to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the third, the Warriors got a lead off walk. He then moved over to 2nd after a sacrifice bunt. Shouse, got out of the inning with 2 straight strikeouts, giving him 5 on the night. Going to the fourth, the Dragons led, 2-1.
In the top of the fourth, the Dragons again went down in order as it was still 2-1. In the bottom of the fourth, Shouse, kept his good start going by picking up his 6th and 7th strikeout in a scoreless frame. Going to the fifth, the Dragons were still leading, 2-1.
In the top of the fifth, Giddens led off with his 2nd hit of the day. Shouse, helped himself out with a extra base hit that would plate Giddens to make it 3-1. Trey Payne, brought in Shouse with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1 Dragons going to the bottom of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, after a lead off walk by the Warriors, Shouse picked up his 8th strikeout. The Warriors, would plate 2 runs in the inning to cut the lead down to 4-3 going to the sixth.
In the top of the sixth, the Dragons, went down quietly as the Warriors got 2 ground outs and a strikeout. In the bottom of the sixth, Cason Cannon, who came on in relief of Tee Knight in the bottom of the fifth, started the inning with a strikeout. The Warriors, got a 1-out single to put the potential tying run on base. A.J. Rice, then came on in relief of Cannon.
Rice, picked up a pop out, and a strikeout to leave the runner stranded at 2nd and to send it to the seventh with the Dragons leading, 4-3.
In the top of the seventh, the Dragons got a lead off walk from Tilley. He would be left stranded at 1st after White County picked up a pop out and 2 fly outs to send it to the bottom of the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, JP Nunn came on in relief of Rice, to try to add to his school record for saves. Nunn, got two quick outs to start the bottom of the seventh with a strikeout and a ground out.
The Warriors, made it interesting as they got a double, and a hit batsman with 2-outs to put runners at 1st and 2nd. Nunn, settled in, and got a pop up to 2nd base to get out of the jam and seal the 4-3 win for the Dragons.
Stats for the Dragons:
Connor Shouse: 1-3 with 1 walk, 2 runs scored & 4 1/3rd IP, 0 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 77 pitches
Trace Ledbetter: 1 walk
Trey Payne: 1 sacrifice bunt, 1 sacrifice fly, 1 RBI
James Tilley: 2 walks, and 1 run scored
Evan Giddens: 2-3 with 2 singles and 1 run scored
With the win, the Dragons move to 1-3 overall and 3-1 in 7-AAA play. The series now shifts to Jasper for game 2 of the 3-game set on Thursday, March 16th. First pitch is set for 5:55 pm.
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