Yesterday, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team hosted the LaFayette Ramblers at PJHS for a doubleheader to close out the regular season. Pickens, defeated the Ramblers on Tuesday at LaFayette, 2-0, behind a complete game shutout by Colby James, & looked to win the series, & to finish 3rd in the region heading into the state tournament. It was also Senior Night as the Seniors were recognized in between games.
Senior & College of Charleston signee Caswell Smith started game 1 (game 2 overall of the series) & he pitched a masterpiece.
In the bottom of the 1st, the Dragons struck first with 2 runs to take a 2-0 lead. Pickens added to that lead in the bottom of the 2nd, as two more runs would come home, making it 4-0 Dragons. One more run would score in the bottom of the 4th as Pickens extended it’s lead to 5-0 over LaFayette.
With the way Smith pitched, the Dragons only needed 1 run as Smith tossed a complete game, no-hit shutout as the Dragons took the first game of the doubleheader, 5-0.
The 2nd game was started by another senior, & another college signee. Will Lawrence, who is signed with Wallace State to continue his baseball career, took the mound for the final game of the series. Lawrence got off to a good start, striking out the side in the top of the 1st. In the bottom of the 1st, Brady Moore, led off with a walk, stole 2nd, stole 3rd, & scored after the ball got passed the 3rd baseman. Dragons led, 1-0.
Pickens, held that 1-0 lead over the Ramblers until the top of the 4th, when LaFayette plated 2 runs to take a 2-1 lead. Their first lead of the game & of the series. The Dragons, retook the lead in the bottom of the 5th with 2 runs of their own to make it 3-2. LaFayette answered right back with a run in the top of the 6th, to tie things up at 3 a piece.
With 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th, catcher Tyler Vreeland got on base with a single. Jarod Whitmore would then be brought in to courtesy run for Vreeland. Whitmore, would steal 2nd, then make his way to 3rd after the ball got passed the infield & into the outfield. Whitmore, would then come home to score the game winning run on a wild pitch. Pickens, finishes the regular season in exciting fashion winning 4-3.
Pickens, finishes the regular season at 19-11, & 12-6 in region play. The 19 wins are the most in a season for any PHS Baseball team. The Dragons, will represent 6-AAAA as the 3rd seed & take on the 2 seed out of region 7, the Marist War Eagles, in the first round of the 4A State Baseball Tournament. First pitch is set for Wednesday at 5:30.
This past Friday afternoon, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team, made their way down to Cartersville to take on the Purple Hurricanes in the first round of the 4-A State Baseball Tournament. Pickens came in as the #4 seed from region 6, while Cartersville came in as the #1 seed out of region 5. These games, were originally scheduled for Thursday, but weather pushed it back. Cartersville even had a helicopter out to help dry the field prior to first pitch of game 1.
The Dragons, were the away team in game 1, & looked to get things going against the top team from region 5. Pickens, would be unable to get on base in the top half of the 1st, sending us to the bottom of the inning. Dragons starting pitcher, Caswell Smith, found himself in an early jam, but was able to hold Cartersville to 1 run & strikeout 2 in the process. We’d head to the 2nd, Purple Hurricanes up, 1-0. In the top of the 2nd, the Dragons saw a total of 8 pitches, & flew out in order, sending us to the bottom of the frame. Smith, came back with an 11 pitch inning, & picked up his 3rd K of the game, sending us to the 3rd, Cartersville leading Pickens, 1-0.
With 2-outs in the top of the 3rd, Dylan Huffman sent a a fly ball to shallow left field, the left fielder could not come up with the catch, & Huffman made it to 2nd on the play. Joseph Gossett, then drew a walk to put runners on 1st & 2nd. Jace Franklin then battled & kept fouling off pitches. With a 2-2 count, Franklin laced a double in right center, scoring Huffman & tying the game up a 1. Cartersville, looking to retake the lead in the bottom of the inning, had 2 runners on with nobody out. Smith, with help from the defense behind him, was able to get out of that jam, keeping it a 1-1 game, going to the 4th. In the top of the 4th, the Purple Hurricanes brought in a new pitcher, & he was able to get the Dragons in order. In the bottom of the 4th, Cartersville, was able to reclaim the lead, 2-1, going to the 5th.
Gossett, would get a 2-out single in the top of the 5th, but that would be all for the Dragons in the top half of the frame. The Purple Hurricanes, would plate 2 more runs in the bottom of the 5th, making it 4-1, going to the 6th. With 2-outs in the top of the 6th, Pickens got back to back singles from Chad Pacas & Colby James. Tyler Vreeland, made it three straight hits, but Evan Jones (running for Pacas), would be called out at the plate, trying to score from 2nd, keeping the score 4-1. In the bottom of the 6th, Cartersville, got a solo home run, to make it 5-1, going to the 7th. The Purple Hurricanes, would take game 1, 5-1.
Caswell Smith: 6IP, 8H, 5R, 4ER, 7K, 106 pitches
Joseph Gossett: 1-3 with a walk & a single
Jace Franklin: 1-3 with a double & 1 RBI
Brady Moore: 1 walk
Chad Pacas: 1-3 with a single
Colby James: 1-3 with a single
Tyler Vreeland: 1-3 with a single
Dylan Huffman: 1 run scored
The two teams switched roles for game two as Pickens was now the home team, & Cartersville was the away team. The Purple Hurricanes, jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first as they would plate 3 runs, to take an early 3-0 lead. The Dragons, went quietly in the bottom of the 1st, sending us to the 2nd, Cartersville leading, 3-0. In the top of the 2nd, the Purple Hurricanes added 2 more runs, to stretch the lead out to 5-0. In the bottom of the frame, Pickens, again would be unable to get anything going, & we’d head to the 3rd, Dragons trailing Cartersville, 5-0.
In the top of the 3rd, Cartersville, plated 1 run, to make it 6-0. In the bottom of the inning, Tyler Vreeland, would lead off the inning with the Dragons 1st hit of the game. The Purple Hurricanes, got out of the inning without any damage done, as we’d go to the 4th. In the top of the 4th, Cartersville, would score 6 times to make it 12-0. The Purple Hurricanes would go on to take game 2, 12-0 in 5 innings. Winning the series 2-0.
This past Friday, the PHS Dragons baseball team traveled down to Atlanta to take on the #3 seed out of region 6-AAAA, the St. Pius Golden Lions in the first round of the 4A State Tournament. This was a 3-game series meaning the team to first win two games, advanced to the next round.
The Dragons were the away team in game 1 and were looking to jump out early on the Golden Lions. Travis Huffman led things off with a double to left center on the first pitch he saw, firing up the Pickens dugout. Tyler Garner then cranked out a two-run bomb bringing the Dragon faithful to their feet as Pickens took a 2-0 lead. Not to be outdone, Dalton Presley found a pitch to his liking and sent it over the left center fence to make it 3-0 after one half inning. St. Pius got a run in the bottom of the frame, and after 1, the Dragons held a 3-1 lead.
Both pitchers were able to get out of jams and settle down for the most part to the 5th inning. The Golden Lions were able to plate 4 in the bottom of the inning to take the lead, 5-3. St. Pius then added on to that lead in the bottom of the 6th with 3 runs to stretch it out to 8-3 going to the 7th. The Dragons tried to get a rally going after a hit by pitch, a single, & an RBI single from Dylan Huffman, but it would not be enough as the Golden Lions took game 1, 8-4.
Travis Huffman went 6 innings giving up 6 ER, & striking out 5 on 99 pitches & went 1-3 with a double, & 1 run scored
Walker Lawrence went 1-3 with a single
Tyler Garner went 1-3 with a home run, 2 RBI, & a run scored
Dalton Presley went 1-2 with a home run, 1 RBI, & a run scored
Wyatt Gooch went 1-3 with a single
Dylan Huffman went 1-3 with a single, & 1 RBI
Caleb Brooks went 1-3 with a single
Dillon Champion scored a run
For game 2, the Dragons were the home team and West Ga commit Tyler Garner would be given the ball to pitch for Pickens. Garner got off to a good start, retiring the Golden Lions on 16 pitches. For St. Pius, Ga Tech commit Garrett Gooden took to the mound and proved to be as tough as advertised. In the top of the 2nd, the Golden Lions struck first with a two-run home run to go up 2-0. St. Pius added to that lead with 3 in the 3rd, to make it 5-0.
The Golden Lions stretched out the lead with three in the 5th to make it 8-0. St. Pius went on to get the win 8-0, and taking the series in the process, 2-0. The Dragons just could not get anything going only drawing two walks and getting a lone hit from Garner in game 2.
Pickens finishes the season at 16-11, and with a 2nd straight state tournament appearance. While the Dragons are losing a handful of seniors, they will be returning a big chunk of core guys with a lot of varsity experience and adding young kids that had success during the JV season for next season.
Yesterday, the PHS Dragons baseball team hosted the Raiders of Southeast Whitfield in the final regular season game of the season. Earlier in the season, the Raiders bested the Dragons in Dalton, with Pickens looking to avenge that loss. Prior to the game, the bat boy for the Dragons and the all-time home run leader for Pickens Jake King added to his record with an inside the park homer.
Senior Tyler Garner took to the hill for the Dragons in the final game before the state tournament. The Raiders had a mini threat brewing in the top of the 1st, but Garner and the Dragon defense were able to get out of it, sending us to the bottom of the opening frame. Travis Huffman led the inning off for Pickens with a triple to left center, and was brought in on a sac RBI by Walker Lawrence to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead going to the 2nd. Garner struck out two in the top of the 2nd, and Pickens went in order to send us to the 3rd with the Dragons still ahead, 1-0.
Southeast Whitfield plated a run in the top of the 3rd to tie things up at 1 a piece. The tie would not last long however as RBI hits from Joseph Gossett, Lawrence, & Garner gave the Dragons a 4-1 lead going to the 4th. The Raiders threatened in the top of the 7th with runners at 2nd and 3rd, but Dylan Huffman was able to work around it and close things out for the Dragons giving Pickens a 4-1 win on Senior Night.
After the ball game, seniors (as pictured above), Tyler Garner, Clayton Wilson, Walker Lawrence, Dillon Champion, & Caleb Brooks were recognized for their contributions to the program and to PHS Athletics.
Tyler Garner went 6 & 1/3rd innings giving up 1 run on 6 hits, walking 3, & striking out 9 on 117 pitches & had 1 RBI
Dylan Huffman went 2/3rd’s innings giving up no hits and no runs on 14 pitches
Travis Huffman went 1-2 with a triple and a run scored
Walker Lawrence went 1-2 with a single, 2 RBI, & a run scored
Caleb Brooks went 2-3 with a double, a single, and a run scored
Joseph Gossett went 2-2 with a single, a double, 1 RBI, & a run scored
The first round opponent for the 4A state baseball tournament has yet to be determined as of now for the Dragons. What is for sure is that it will either be against Redan or St. Pius on Friday, the 29th. Times and location will be determined later.