Dragons sweep Tigers for 12th straight win

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Dawsonville, Ga — One day after clinching their second straight 7-AAA Region Championship, the Pickens Dragons traveled to Dawsonville on Friday, April 5th to take on the Dawson Tigers in game three of their 3-game series. The Dragons, came into the game looking to complete the sweep. The Tigers, came into the game hoping to get at least one game in the series. The Dragons, scored 17 runs in four innings to come away with a 17-4 win in 5 innings.

 

In the top of the first, Trey Payne would look to get things going with a 1-out single. The Tigers, would get out of the first as Carson Sosebee threw out Payne trying to steal 2nd. In the bottom of the first, Dragons starter A.J. Rice, got the first two outs via strikeout and ground out. Julian Horner, put the Tigers ahead with a solo home run. Elijah Odom, followed that up with a 2-out double.

Davis Glass, would keep the inning going as he drove in Odom with an RBI single to make it 2-0 Tigers. Rice, got out of the first with his 2nd strikeout of the game. Going to the second, Dawson led Pickens, 2-0.

 

In the top of the second, Kam Jenkins, led off by reaching on an error. Dawson Holland, would then reach on an infield single. Courtesy runner JP Nunn, would advance all the way to 3rd after an error on the play. Holland, would then steal 2nd to get into scoring position. Tyler Payne, would draw a walk to load the bases with 1-out. After Tigers starter Joshua Priest, picked up a strikeout for the 2nd out, Rice would come up to bat.

Rice, would drive in both Nunn and Holland with a 2-run single to tie the game at 2. Rice, would be tagged out at 2nd trying to advance on the play. Going to the bottom of the frame, Pickens and Dawson were tied at 2. In the bottom half of the second, Rice, tossed a scoreless inning with a strikeout and two ground outs. Going to the third, the game was tied at 2.

 

In the top of the third, Connor Shouse, would lead off with a double. Trey Payne, would move Shouse over to 3rd after a sacrifice bunt. Cade Sutton, would drive in Shouse with an RBI double to make it 3-2 Dragons. Sutton, would advance to 3rd after a ground out by Jenkins. An RBI single by Trace Ledbetter, would bring in Sutton to make it 4-2 Dragons. Holland, would then reach on an infield single.

Both Ledbetter and Holland would advance after a wild pitch. Tyler Payne, would bring in Ledbetter after reaching on an error to make it 5-2 Dragons. Holland, who advanced to 3rd on the play, would come in to score after a wild pitch to make it 6-2 Dragons going to the bottom of the third. In the bottom of the third, Sawyer Bearden, would lead off with a solo home run to make it 6-3.

Horner, would then draw a walk to reach with 1-out. Rice and the Dragons, would get out of the third after turning an inning ending double play. Going to the fourth, Pickens led Dawson, 6-3.

 

In the top of the fourth, Rice, would lead off with a single for his 2nd hit of the day. Shouse, would add to the lead by hitting a 2-run home run to make it 8-3 Dragons. Trey Payne, would then draw a walk to reach base. Sutton, would follow that with his 2nd double of the game to put runners at 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. Ledbetter, would draw a 1-out walk to load the bases.

The Tigers, would be able to get out of the jam with a strikeout and a fly out to send it to the bottom of the fourth. In the bottom of the fourth, in what would be his final inning of work, Rice, picked up two more strikeouts and a ground out in a scoreless frame to send it to the fifth with Pickens leading Dawson, 8-3.

 

In the top of the fifth, Christian Starks, led off with a single. Rice, followed that with his 3rd hit of the day. Shouse, would load the bases after being awarded 1st base due to catchers interference. Trey Payne, would bring in Starks as he drew a walk to make it 9-3. Sutton, would drive in Rice with an RBI single to make it 10-3. Jenkins, would keep the line moving as he brought in Shouse with a single to make it 11-3.

Holland, would bring in Trey Payne and Sutton with a 2-RBI double to make it 13-3. Nunn, who was running for Jenkins, would score on a passed ball to make it 14-3. Starks, would drive in Holland with an RBI single to make it 15-3. After advancing to 2nd on a wild pitch, Starks would come in to score on an RBI single by Rice to make it 16-3. An RBI double from Shouse would bring in Rice to make it 17-3 Dragons going to the bottom of the fifth.

Brodie Keener, came on in relief of Rice in the bottom of the fifth. Dylan Edwards, would lead off the bottom of the frame with a double. Edwards, would then advance to 3rd on a passed ball. Preston Bannister, would then draw a walk to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Edwards, would come in to score as Bearden would reach on a fielder’s choice. Bannister, would be forced out at 2nd for the first out.

Keener, would get Jacson Rickett to line out to right and Horner to ground out to 1st to end the inning as the Dragons picked up the 17-4 win in 5 innings.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 3-4 with 2 doubles, 1 home run, 3 runs scored, and 3 RBI

Trey Payne: 1-2 with 1 single, 2 walks, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI

Cade Sutton: 3-4 with 2 doubles, 1 single, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI

Kam Jenkins: 1-4 with 1 single, and 1 RBI

Trace Ledbetter: 1-3 with 1 single, 1 walk, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI

Dawson Holloand: 3-4 with 1 single, 1 double, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI

Tyler Payne: 1 walk

Christian Starks: 2-4 with 2 singles, 2 runs scored, and 1 RBI

A.J. Rice: 4-4 with 4 singles, 3 runs scored, and 1 RBI (4 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K on 64 pitches)

JP Nunn: 2 runs scored

Cason Cannon: 1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 BB on 14 pitches

 

With the win, the Dragons now have swept their 4th straight region series. They have now won 12 games in a row. Next week, the Dragons will begin their final series in 7-AAA play as they take on the Lumpkin County Indians. Game one of the three game series will be in Jasper on Tuesday, April 9th. First pitch time set for 5:55 pm.

Dragons win second straight 7-AAA Region Championship

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was a windy but beautiful day on Thursday, April 4th as the Pickens Dragons hosted the Dawson Tigers for game two of their 3-game series. After taking game one in Dawsonville on Monday, the Dragons were looking to pick up another series win and possibly a region championship. The Tigers, were looking to even up the series and force a rubber game on Friday. In what was a back and forth contest, the Dragons picked up a hard fought 3-2 win in 9 innings.

 

In the top of the first, Dragons starter James Tilley, worked around a 1-out single by Jacson Rickett as he picked up 2 strikeouts and a ground out. In the bottom of the frame, Connor Shouse led off by drawing a walk. The pick off attempt by Tigers starter Trey Harvey, got by the 1st baseman and allowed Shouse to advance all the way to 3rd. Trey Payne, would then hit a pop fly to the 2nd baseman.

Shouse, was able to score on the play to make it 1-0 Dragons. After a 1-out single by Cade Sutton, Harvey’s pick off attempt would be successful for the 2nd out. Kam Jenkins, kept the bottom of the first alive for the Dragons as he reached with a 2-out single. Harvey, would get out of the inning as he forced a pop out to 2nd by Trace Ledbetter. Going to the second, Pickens led Dawson, 1-0.

 

In the top half of the second, Tilley, would strike out the side to send it to the bottom half of the second. In the bottom of the second, Dawson Holland would lead off by drawing a walk on a full count. Holland, would then advance to 2nd after a wild pitch. Tyler Payne, would move Holland over to 3rd after a ground out. Christian Starks, would bring in Holland with an RBI single to make it 2-0 Dragons going to the third.

 

In the top of the third, Tilley, continued his good start to the ball game as he tossed a scoreless frame with three ground outs. In the bottom of the third, Harvey, would toss his first 1-2-3 inning as he forced two ground outs to the first baseman Preston Bannister, and picked up his first strikeout of the game. Going to the fourth, Pickens led Dawson, 2-0.

 

After picking up his 6th strikeout to begin the fourth inning, Tilley would hit Julian Horner with a pitch to put him on base with 1-out. Elijah Odom, would then beat out an infield single and Horner and Odom would advance after an error. Horner, would come in to score after a wild pitch to cut the lead to 2-1. After advancing to 3rd on that same wild pitch, Odom, would score on an RBI single by Davis Glass to tie it up at 2 going to the bottom of the fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth, Ledbetter would reach after a 1-out single. Ezra Faber, would come in to pitch runner for Ledbetter and he would advance to 2nd after a wild pitch. Harvey, would get out of the inning after a strikeout, and a nice diving play by Bannister to rob Tyler Payne of a would-be hit and possible RBI. Going to the fifth, Pickens and Dawson were tied at 2.

 

Tilley, settled down in the top of the fifth as he picked up his 7th strikeout of the game, a fly out, and a ground out. In the bottom of the fifth, A.J. Rice would draw a 1-out walk to reach base. Rice, would be forced out at 2nd as Shouse would reach on a fielder’s choice. Shouse, would steal 2nd to put himself in scoring position. Trey Payne, would draw a walk to put 2 runners on with 2-outs. Shouse, would advance to 3rd on the play as ball 4 got away from the catcher.

Trey Payne, would steal 2nd to put runners at 2nd and 3rd with 2-outs. Harvey, would get out of the jam as he took a come backer to 1st base himself for the 3rd out to send it to the sixth with the score tied at 2.

 

In the top of the sixth, Tilley, got the first two outs of the inning by taking a come backer to 1st by himself, and forcing a ground out to Rice at 2nd. Odom, kept the inning going for the Tigers as he reached with a 2-out double. Trey Payne, nearly made a diving catch on the play. The Dragons, would then choose to intentionally walk Glass. Tilley, would get out of the 6th as Joshua Priest would pop out to Ledbetter at 1st for the third out.

Trace Ledbetter, would hit a single past the shortstop for a 1-out knock. The Tigers, would get their 2nd runner of the night as Ledbetter would be caught trying to take 2nd on a steal attempt. Harvey, would get out of the sixth with a strikeout to send it to the seventh with the game all knotted up at 2.

 

In the top of the seventh, Dylan Edwards would draw a 1-out walk to get on base. Bannister, would then reach on what would have been a sacrifice bunt, but miscommunication between the Dragons defense would lead to runners at 1st and 2nd with 1-out. Edwards, would advance to 3rd and Bannister would be forced out at 2nd as Sawyer Bearden would reach on a fielder’s choice.

Rickett, would then be hit by a pitch to load the bases up with 2-outs. Cason Cannon, would come on in relief of Tilley and he would be tasked with getting out of the jam. Get out of it he did as he forced a grounder to Sutton who would step on the bag at 3rd to for the final out of the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Starks, would reach with a 1-out single.

Banks Hickman, who came on in relief of Harvey, got out of the seventh as he forced a fly out to left center for the third out. Pickens and Dawson would head to extra innings tied at 2.

 

In the top of the eighth, Horner, would lead off by being hit by a pitch. Horner, would then advance to 2nd as Glass would lay down a sacrifice bunt. Cannon, would get out of the eighth with a fly out and a ground out to keep the score tied at 2. Trey Payne, would lead off the bottom of the frame by drawing a walk on a full count.

In an odd play, Sutton, would be called out due to interference as he was ruled to be outside the base path after Hickman’s throw hit Sutton in the foot. The call negated what would have been a sacrifice bunt, and Payne would be forced to go back to 1st. Payne, would then steal 2nd straight up to advance into scoring position. After a fly out by Jenkins, Ledbetter would be intentionally walked to put runners at 1st and 2nd with 2-outs.

Hickman and the Tigers, would get out of the eighth as Holland would be thrown out after a dropped 3rd strike. Going to the ninth inning, the game was still tied up at 2.

 

In the top of the ninth, Bannister would reach by drawing a 1-out walk. Rickett, would keep the inning alive for the Tigers as he drew a 2-out walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd. Both runners would advance to 2nd and 3rd after a wild pitch. Cannon, got out of the ninth after a ground out to short for the third out. Going to the bottom of the ninth, Pickens and Dawson were still tied at 2.

In the bottom of the ninth, Tyler Payne, would lead off the inning by being hit by a pitch on a 3-2 count to reach. Kyle Grno, would come on to pitch run for him. Starks, would also get hit by a pitch as he was trying to lay down a bunt. After being down for a second, Starks, popped up and headed over to 1st. Rice, would then try to bunt the runners over, but the bunt attempt went foul for the first out.

Shouse, would then be unintentionally intentionally walked to load the bases with 1-out. Hickman, would get the second out via strikeout. On the first pitch of the at bat, Sutton, would be hit by a pitch and Grno would come in to score as the Dragons picked up the 3-2 win and their second straight 7-AAA Region Championship.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 2 walks, 1 stolen base, 1 run scored

Trey Payne: 2 walks, 2 stolen bases, 1 RBI

Cade Sutton: 1-4 with 1 single, and 1 hit by pitch

Kam Jenkins: 1-4 with a single

Trace Ledbetter: 2-3 with 2 singles and a walk

Dawson Holland: 1 walk, and 1 run scored

Tyler Payne: 1 hit by pitch

Christian Starks: 2-3 with 2 singles, 1 hit by pitch, and 1 RBI

A.J. Rice: 1 walk

Kyle Grno: 1 run scored

James Tilley: 6.2 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 1 IBB, 2 HBP, 7 K on 105 pitches

Cason Cannon: 2.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 1 K on 38 pitches

 

The Dragons and Tigers, will conclude their 3-game set on Friday, April 5th as the series goes back to Dawsonville. First pitch is set for 5:55 pm.

Dragons win 9th straight game; sweep Bobcats

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was another beautiful day for high school baseball as the Pickens Dragons welcomed the Gilmer Bobcats to Dunn Field on Friday, March 29th for the third and final game of their series in 7-AAA. The Dragons, by virtue of taking the first two games, won the series and were looking to complete the sweep. The Bobcats, came in looking to steal a game. Prior to the ball game, PHS recognized Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day. A 5-run 2nd and a 4-run 6th helped the Dragons get the sweep, 10-3.

 

In the top of the first, Eli Cooper reached on an infield single with 1-out. Cooper, would advance to 2nd as Noah Gutillo grounded out to 1st. Dragons starter A.J. Rice, would then get Ethan McCollum to ground out to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the frame, Connor Shouse, would lead off by getting hit with the first pitch. Shouse, would then steal 2nd to get into scoring position.

Shouse, would then steal 3rd. He would come in to score on a throwing error by the catcher to make it 1-0 Dragons going to the top of the second.

 

In the top of the second, Hayden Berry would be hit by a pitch to reach base to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt by Austin Zabala would advance Berry to 2nd. Rice, would collect his 2nd and 3rd strike outs to send it to the bottom of the 2nd. In the bottom of the inning, Dawson Holland would reach with a 1-out double. Christian Starks, would drive Holland in with a 2-out double to make it 2-0 Dragons.

Rice, would then be hit with a pitch to put runners at 1st and 2nd. Shouse, would reach with a single to load the bases. Trey Payne, would bring in Starks and courtesy runner Ezra Faber in with a 2-RBI single to make it 4-1 Dragons. Shouse and Payne, would then pull off a double steal. A single by Cade Sutton would drive in Shouse and Payne to make it 6-0 Dragons going to the third.

 

In the top of the third, Rice, would collect his 4th strikeout for the first out. Blake Grizzle, would put the Bobcats on the board with a solo home run to left field to make it 6-1. Gutillo, would keep the inning alive with a 2-out single. McCollum, would bring Gutillo around to score with an RBI double to make it 6-2. Berry, would then be hit with a pitch to put runners at 1st and 2nd.

Rice, would get out of the third by picking up his 6th strikeout of the game to keep the score at 6-2 in favor of Pickens. In the bottom of the third, Trace Ledbetter, would lead off with a double. After a long at bat, Holland would send a fly ball out to right field that would advance Ledbetter to 3rd. Bobcats starter Dalton Crisp, would get out of the third with a strikeout and ground out. Going to the fourth, Pickens led Gilmer, 6-2.

 

Mel Mosley, would lead off the fourth with a single. After Rice picked up his 7th strikeout, Haden West and Grizzle would hit back to back singles to load the bases with 1-out. Cooper, would bring in Mosley with sacrifice fly RBI to make it 6-3. Gutillo, would then reach base as Sutton couldn’t get the ball out of his glove cleanly. Rice, showed off some quick reflexes as he caught a come backer from McCollum to send it to the bottom of the fourth.

Crisp, would fire his first 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fourth as they would head to the fifth, with Pickens leading Gilmer, 6-3.

 

Cason Cannon would come on in relief of Rice in the top of the fifth. Berry, would lead off the fifth with a double. Cannon, would then get Zabala with a strikeout for the first out. Mosley, would draw a 1-out walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd. A grounder by Brandon Davis, would advance Berry and Mosley up to 2nd and 3rd with 2-outs. Cannon, would get out of the jam by forcing a fly out to left to send it to the bottom of the fifth, Dragons leading, 6-3.

Kam Jenkins, would look to get things going in the bottom of the fifth as he reached with a 1-out single. The Bobcat defense, would turn an inning ending double play to send it to the sixth with the Dragons still leading, 6-3.

 

Starks, would come on in relief of Cannon in the top of the sixth. Starks, would get the first two out of the sixth on 2 pitches. Gutillo, would keep the inning going for the Bobcats as he reached with a 2-out double. McCollum, looked like he had at least a double and it looked like the Bobcats would score a run, but Trey Payne would have other ideas as he made a diving catch in right field to send it to the bottom of the sixth, Pickens still ahead, 6-3.

Holland, would lead off the bottom of the sixth with a double. He would then advance to 3rd after a passed ball. Tyler Payne, who came on to pitch hit, would reach on a fielder’s choice as Holland would be thrown out at home. Starks, would reach on a fielder’s choice as there were now two outs. Ezra Faber, would come in to run for Starks. Rice, would drive in Faber with an RBI double to make it 7-3 Dragons.

Rice, would advance to 3rd on the throw. Shouse, would bring in Rice with an RBI single to make it 8-3. Shouse, would then steal 2nd to get into scoring position. Trey Payne, would reach base on an error. Shouse, would come in to score on the play to make it 9-3. After Payne stole 2nd, he would advance to 3rd as Sutton reached on an infield single. Jenkins, would then draw a walk to load the bases with 2-outs.

Ledbetter, would drive in Payne with an RBI single to make it 10-3. Sutton, would be tagged out at home trying to score from 2nd on the play. Going to the seventh, Pickens led Gilmer, 10-3.

 

JP Nunn, came on in relief of Starks in the top of the seventh. Berry, would lead off the inning by getting hit with a pitch. Nunn, would come back and get the first out of the frame with a strikeout. Mosley, would draw a walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd with 1-out. Nunn, would then start a game ending 1-6-3 double play to seal the 10-3 win for the Dragons.

 

Stats for the Bobcats:

Blake Grizzle: 2-4 with a single, a home run, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored

Eli Cooper: 1-4 with a single and 1 RBI

Noah Gutillo: 2-4 with a single, a double, and 1 run scored

Ethan McCollum: 1-4 with a double, and 1 RBI

Hayden Berry: 1-1 with a double and 3 hit by pitch

Austin Zabala: 1 sacrifice bunt

Haden West: 1-2 with a single and a walk

Mel Mosley: 1-2 with a single, 2 walks, and 1 run scored

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 2-3 with 2 singles, 1 hit by pitch, 4 steals, 1 RBI, and 3 runs scored

Trey Payne: 1-4 with a single, 2 steals, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored

Cade Sutton: 2-4 with 2 singles, 1 steal, and 2 RBI

Kam Jenkins: 1-3 with a single, and a walk

Dawson Holland: 2-3 with 2 doubles, and 1 run scored

Trace Ledbetter: 2-4 with 1 single, 1 double, and 1 RBI

Christian Starks: 1-3 with a double, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored (1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB on 10 pitches)

A.J. Rice: 1-2 with a double, 1 hit by pitch, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored (4 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 7 H, 7 K, 2 HBP on 79 pitches)

Ezra Faber: 2 runs scored

Cason Cannon: 1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K on 20 pitches

JP Nunn: 1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 1 K on 17 pitches

 

7-AAA Baseball Standings:

Pickens: 18-3 (11-1)

Dawson: 14-6 (8-4)

Wesleyan: 8-9 (5-4)

Lumpkin: 10-10 (6-6)

White County: 10-11 (2-7)

Gilmer: 8-11 (2-7)

West Hall: 5-14 (2-7)

 

Next week, the two top ten ranked teams from 7-AAA will face off in a 3-game series as the Pickens Dragons will take on the Dawson Tigers. Game one of the series is set for Tuesday, April 2nd in Dawsonville with a first pitch start time of 5:55 pm. As of now, there is a chance for rain on Tuesday. We’ll keep you updated on any schedule changes that occur during the week.

Dragons defeat Bobcats on the road

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Ellijay, Ga — Monday, March 25th kicked off rivalry week as the Pickens Dragons made the short trek up 515 to take on the Gilmer Bobcats in game one of their three game series. Coming into the game, the Dragons, were 15-3 overall, 8-1 in 7-AAA, ranked 2nd in AAA, and riding a 6 game winning streak. The Bobcats, were 8-8 overall, and 2-4 in 7-AAA. Behind a strong pitching performance and timely hitting, the Dragons picked up a 7-1 win.

 

In the top of the first, Connor Shouse, led off by drawing a walk. After Shouse stole 2nd to get into scoring position, Trey Payne would reach on an error. The Dragons, would then pull a double steal as Shouse would take 3rd and Payne would take 2nd. Shouse, would come in to score on an error to make it 1-0. A fly out to left by Cade Sutton would advance Payne to 3rd. Kam Jenkins, would drive in Payne with a single to make it 2-0 Dragons.

In the bottom of the first, Blake Grizzle, would lead off by getting hit with a pitch. Shouse, would settle in after that by getting a ground ball and two strikeouts to send it to the second with Pickens leading Gilmer, 2-0.

 

In the top of the second, Dawson Holland, would reach on an error with 1-out. He would be left stranded at 2nd as Bobcats starter Austin Zabala, forced a line out and a ground out to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom half of the frame, Ethan McCollum, led off with a double to center. He would be picked off by Jenkins attempting to steal 3rd.

After back to back singles from Hayden Berry and Zabala, the Dragons were able to turn a double play to send it to the third with Pickens still leading Gilmer, 2-0.

 

In the top of the third, Shouse, would again lead off by drawing his 2nd walk. Shouse, would steal his 3rd base of the day as he made his way to 2nd. Sutton, would hit a single to right that would bring home Shouse to make it 3-0 Dragons. In the bottom of the third, Haden West, would lead off with a single. The Dragons, would then turn their 2nd double play to erase that single.

Eli Cooper, kept the inning alive for the Bobcats as he reached with a 2-out single. Cooper, would then steal 2nd to get into scoring position. The inning came to an end when Jenkins threw out Cooper trying to take 3rd. Going to the top of the fourth, Pickens led Gilmer, 3-0.

 

In the top of the fourth, Holland, reached with a 1-out single. Holland, would advance to 2nd on an error during the play. Holland, would then advance to 3rd on a wild pitch. Christian Starks, would reach after drawing a walk. A.J. Rice, would bring in Holland with an RBI ground out to make it 4-0. Shouse, would draw his 3rd walk of the game to put runners at 1st and 2nd. Zabala and the Bobcats, would get out of that jam and send it to the bottom of the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Shouse, picked up 2 quick ground outs. A 2-out single by McCollum, kept the inning alive for the Bobcats. Shouse, would record his 3rd K of the night to send it to the fifth with Pickens leading Gilmer, 4-0.

 

In the top of the fifth, Jenkins reached on an error and would be at 2nd with 1-out. Trace Ledbetter, would bring in Jenkins’ courtesy runner, JP Nunn, with a single to make it 5-0 Dragons. In the bottom of the fifth, Brandon Davis, would reach after being hit by a pitch with 1-out. Davis, would then advance to 2nd on a wild pitch. West, would draw a walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd with 1-out.

Shouse, would do a good job of settling down as he would end the fifth by striking out the next two batters to send it to the sixth with the Dragons still leading the Bobcats, 5-0.

 

In the top of the sixth, Rice, would hit his first home run of the season as he sent one over the right field fence to make it 6-0. Trey Payne, would then reach on an error with 2-outs to keep the inning alive. Sutton would drive in Payne with a double to make it 7-0 Pickens going to the bottom of the sixth. In the bottom of the inning, Cason Cannon came on in relief of Shouse.

After Cannon got the first two out via fly out and strikeout, McCollum, kept the inning going with his 3rd hit of the day. Berry, would bring in McCollum with an RBI single. Berry would advance all to way to 3rd on an error. Cannon, would pick up his 2nd strikeout of the inning to send it to the seventh with Pickens leading Gilmer, 7-1.

 

Sam Hammontree, who came on to pitch hit for Tyler Payne, would lead off by reaching on an error. Kyle Grno, who pitch hit for Holland, would reach on a fielder’s choice. He would be left at 2nd and they’d go to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Nunn came on to try and finish off the game for the Dragons. After picking up a strikeout and a fly out, Grizzle would reach with a 2-out single.

After two wild pitches would advance Grizzle to 3rd, Nunn would pick up his 2nd strikeout to seal the 7-1 win in game one of the series for the Dragons.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 3 walks, 3 stolen bases, 2 runs scored (5 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 6 K on 78 pitches)

Trey Payne: 1 stolen base, and 2 runs scored

Cade Sutton: 2-4 with a single, a double, and 1 RBI

Trace Ledbetter: 1-4 with a single

Dawson Holland: 1-3 with a single and 1 run scored

A.J. Rice: 1-3 with 1 home run, 2 RBI, and 1 run scored

Cason Cannon: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K, on 23 pitches

JP Nunn: 1 run scored ( 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K on 19 pitches)

 

Game two of the series will be on the turf of Dunn Field in Jasper on Thursday, March 28th. First pitch is set for 5:55 pm.

Dragons sweep Spartans behind combined no hitter

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was a beautiful day for high school baseball on Thursday, March 21st as the Pickens Dragons hosted the Spartans of West Hall for the final game of their three game region series. The Dragons, had already won the series by virtue of sweeping a double header on Tuesday, March 19th, and were looking for the series sweep. Prior to the game, the youth baseball teams from the Pickens County rec department were recognized. Behind a combined no hitter from A.J. Rice and Cason Cannon, the Dragons came away with a 6-1 win.

 

In the top of the first, Rice, needed only 9 pitches to get three outs as he picked up 2 fly outs and his first strikeout. In the bottom half of the inning, Connor Shouse, led off with a single. Trey Payne, would move Shouse over to 2nd with a grounder. As Shouse was attempting to steal 3rd, Cade Sutton hit a grounder to the 3rd baseman. Shouse, never stopped running on the play and would score to make it 1-0 Dragons going to the second inning.

 

In the top of the second, Rice, worked around a 1-out error and walk to get out of the inning. Rice, picked up his 2nd and 3rd strikeout of the game during the top half of the frame. The 3rd out came after the runner at 2nd was caught in a rundown and was eventually tagged out at 3rd. In the bottom of the frame, the Dragons would go down in order on two pop outs and a ground out. Going to the third, Pickens led West Hall, 1-0.

 

In the top of the third, Rice, needed only 7 pitches to record three outs as he forced three ground outs to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the third, Shouse, would again lead off with a single. The Spartans, would erase that as they forced a double play. The Dragons, looked for some 2-out magic as Sutton laced a single and Kam Jenkins drew a walk, but the Spartans got a fly out to send it to the fourth with Pickens leading West Hall, 1-0.

 

In the top of the fourth, the Spartans, got their lead off man on as he was hit by a pitch. He would then steal 2nd to get into scoring position. After a grounder to 1st advanced the runner to 3rd, Rice, picked up his 4th strikeout for the 2nd out. The Spartans, would tie the game as the runner from 3rd would come in to score on a wild pitch. Rice, would pick up his 5th strikeout to send it to the bottom of the fourth with the score now tied at 1.

In the bottom of the fourth, Tyler Payne, would lead off with a single. The Spartans, would pick off his pitch runner Daven Abernathy for the first out. Trace Ledbetter, would then be hit by a pitch to put him on with 1-out. The Spartans, would get out of the fourth after back to back ground outs. Going to the fifth, Pickens and West Hall were tied at 1.

 

In the top half of the fifth, Rice, would strikeout the side, giving him 8 on the night to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the frame, Shouse, drew a lead off walk to get on base. He would then steal 2nd as he tied the single season mark for stolen bases. Trey Payne, would advance Shouse over to 3rd with a bunt. Sutton, would bring in Shouse with an RBI double to give the Dragons a 2-1 lead.

Jenkins, would follow that up with a single to put runners at the corners with 1-out. Jenkins courtesy runner, JP Nunn, was able to somehow escape a rundown and advance to 2nd. Tyler Payne, extended the lead as he drove in both Sutton and Nunn with a 2-RBI double to make it 4-1 Dragons going to the sixth.

 

In the top of the sixth, Rice picked up his 9th strikeout for the first out. After a walk and a stolen base put a runner in scoring position, 2nd baseman James Tilley made a great play in the outfield grass as he made the catch for the second out. A hit batsman would put runners a 1st and 2nd with 2-out. After a little bit of a discussion, Rice, was relieved by Cason Cannon. Cannon, needed just 1 pitch to get out of the inning and send it to the bottom of the sixth.

In the bottom half of the sixth, Christian Starks would lead off with a double. An error in the outfield, would allow Starks to score as Rice would end up at 2nd on the play. After a sacrifice bunt by Shouse that advanced Rice to 3rd, Trey Payne would bring in Rice with an RBI ground out to make it 6-1 Dragons going to the seventh.

 

Cannon, came back out for the top of the seventh to try and finish the game off. After giving up a walk and hitting a batter to begin the top half of the inning, Cannon settled down to strikeout two and force a pop out to Shouse as the Dragons take game three, 6-1 to sweep the region series.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 2-2 with 2 singles, 1 walk, 1 stolen base, 1 sacrifice bunt, and 2 runs scored

Trey Payne: 1 sacrifice bunt and 1 RBI

Cade Sutton: 2-3 with a single, a double, 1 walk, 2 RBI, and 1 run scored

Kam Jenkins: 3-3 with 3 singles, and 1 walk

Tyler Payne: 2-3 with a single, a double, and 2 RBI

Trace Ledbetter: 1 hit by pitch

Christian Starks: 1-3 with a double and 1 run scored

A.J. Rice: 1 run scored (5.2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 9 K on 88 pitches)

JP Nunn: 1 run scored

Cason Cannon: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 K on 22 pitches

 

7-AAA Baseball Standings:

Pickens: 15-3 (8-1)

Dawson: 12-5 (6-3)

Lumpkin: 9-8 (5-4)

White County: 10-8 (2-4)

Wesleyan: 5-9 (2-4)

Gilmer: 8-8 (2-4)

West Hall: 4-14 (2-7)

 

The Dragons, will remain in 7-AAA play next week as they begin a series with their 515 rivals, the Gilmer Bobcats. Due to impending weather next week, Game one of the series will be at Gilmer on Monday, March 25th with a first pitch time of 6 pm. Games two and three will be played in Jasper on Thursday, March 28th, and Friday, March 29th.

Dragons sweep Spartans in region double header

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Oakwood, Ga — With impending weather later in the week again affecting things, the Pickens Dragons and West Hall Spartans decided to play two on Tuesday, March 19th as they began their best of three series in 7-AAA. Coming into the series, the Dragons, were 12-3 overall and 5-1 in 7-AAA. The Spartans, came into the series with a 4-11 overall record and 2-4 in 7-AAA. The Dragons, were able to win both games taking game one, 8-2, and game two, 15-2.

 

Game 1:

In the top of the first, Connor Shouse got things going with a single to reach base. After Shouse stole 2nd and advanced to 3rd after a balk was called, Trey Payne brought him in with a sacrifice fly RBI. Cade Sutton, would then reach on an error. Kam Jenkins would then draw a walk. Dawson Holland, would reach on a fielder’s choice as he and Jenkins would advance on the error. Tyler Payne, would then be hit by a pitch to load the bases up.

Trace Ledbetter, would work a bases loaded walk as Jenkins would come in to score to make it 2-0 Dragons going to the bottom of the first. In the bottom half of the first, Shouse, the Dragons starter, worked around a 2-out walk as he would strike out the side. Going to the second, Pickens led West Hall, 2-0.

 

In the top of the second, Shouse, would reach base for the 2nd time with a 1-out single. Trey Payne, would reach on a fielder’s choice as the Spartans almost had an inning ending double play. Payne, would then steal 2nd to get into scoring position. He would then advance to 3rd on a passed ball. The Spartans, got out of it with a strikeout to send it to the bottom of the second with Pickens still leading, 2-0.

In the bottom of the second, Shouse, worked around a 1-out hit batsman as he picked up his 4th and 5th strikeouts of the game and a fly out to send it to the third with the Dragons ahead, 2-0.

 

In the top of the third, Tyler Payne drew a 2-out walk to keep the inning going. Ledbetter, would then reach on an error. Both he and pitch runner Coleman Keener would advance on the throw. The Spartans, would get out of the jam to send it to the bottom of the third with the Dragons still up 2-0. The Spartans, would pick up a pair of 1-out singles to try and start a rally.

After executing a double steal, the Spartans would plate a run after a ground out to 1st to make it 2-1. Shouse, would get out of the third with a strikeout. Going to the fourth, Pickens led West Hall, 2-1.

 

In the top of the fourth, Shouse would reach for the 3rd time after being hit with a pitch. He would eventually come around to score on a wild pitch to make it 3-1 Dragons going to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom half of the frame, The Spartans, hit line outs to both James Tilley and A.J. Rice for the first 2 outs. Shouse, got out of the fourth with another strikeout. Going to the fifth, Pickens led West Hall, 3-1.

 

In the top of the fifth, Jenkins led off by drawing a walk. His courtesy runner, JP Nunn, would then steal 2nd. Nunn, would then take 3rd as Holland drew a walk to put runners at the corners. Holland, would steal 2nd to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Sam Hammontree, who came on to hit for Tyler Payne, would drive in Nunn on a fielder’s choice to make it 4-1 Dragons.

In the bottom of the fifth, Shouse would work around a 2-out hit and stolen base as he struck out the side for the second time to push his total up to 11 on the day. Going to the sixth, Pickens led West Hall, 4-1.

 

Sutton and Jenkins would start the sixth with back to back 1-out walks. Holland, would then reach on an error to load the bases. Hammontree, would drive in Sutton and Nunn with a 2-RBI double to make it 6-1. Ledbetter, would bring in Holland after a ground out to 1st to make it 7-1 Dragons. In the bottom of the sixth, Cason Cannon came on in relief of Shouse.

Cannon, worked around a batter who reached on a dropped 3rd strike, and a single to strike out two. Jenkins, also threw a runner out trying to steal 3rd. Going to the seventh, Pickend led West Hall, 7-1.

 

Kyle Grno, who came on in the sixth to play shortstop, drew a 1-out walk to reach base. Sutton, would keep the inning going with a 2-out single, and Jenkins would follow with a 2-out walk. Grno, would come in to score after a wild pitch to make it 8-1 Dragons. Nunn, came on in relief of Cannon in the bottom of the seventh. The Spartans, started off the inning by drawing a walk, and then advancing to 2nd on a wild pitch.

After getting a pop out for the first out, the Spartans, would score on a ground out to make it 8-2. Nunn, would pick up a strikeout to close out the game as the Dragons took game one, 8-2.

 

Stats for the Dragons in Game 1:

Connor Shouse: 2-2 with 2 singles, a hit by pitch, 1 walk, and 3 runs scored (5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 11 k on 88 pitches

Trey Payne: 1 RBI

Cade Sutton: 1-3 with a single, a walk, and 1 run scored

Kam Jenkins: 4 walks, 1 run scored

Dawson Holland: 1 walk, and 1 run scored

Tyler Payne: 1 hit by pitch, and 1 walk

Sam Hammontree: 1-2 with a double and 3 RBI

Trace Ledbetter: 2 walks and 1 RBI

Cason Cannon: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 K on 18 pitches

JP Nunn: 2 runs scored (1 IP, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K on 23 pitches)

 

Game 2:

Game 2 began with Connor Shouse leading off the top of the first with a double. Trey Payne followed that up by being hit with a pitch. Cade Sutton, then reached with a single to load the bases. Kam Jenkins, would drive in Shouse and Payne with a 2-RBI single to make it 2-0. Tyler Payne would bring in Sutton and courtesy runner JP Nunn with a 2-RBI single to make it 4-0 Dragons going to the bottom of the first.

In the bottom half of the first, Dragons starter James Tilley, would toss a scoreless frame as he picked up a fly out, a strikeout, and a pop out to send it to the second with Pickens leading West Hall, 4-0.

 

In the top of the second, the Drgons, would go down in order with all three batters grounding out to the second baseman. In the bottom of the inning, Tilley, worked around a batter reaching on a dropped third strike, a stolen base, and a wild pitch to strikeout the side. Going to the third, Pickens still led West Hall, 4-0.

 

Trey Payne, would lead off the top of the third with a single, but would be thrown out trying to steal 2nd. Jenkins, would reach base with a 2-out double, but his courtesy runner Nunn, would be left stranded at 2nd. In the bottom of the third, the Spartans, would plate a run on 1 hit, 3 walks, and 1 hit batsman. Going to the fourth, Pickens led West Hall, 4-1.

 

In the top of the fourth, Tyler Payne led off by drawing a walk. His pitch runner Coleman Keener, would be thrown out at 2nd trying on a steal attempt. Trace Ledbetter, would reach on an error. A.J. Rice, would bring in Ledbetter with a 2-out double to make it 5-1. Shouse, would drive in Rice with an RBI single to make it 6-1. After Shouse stole 2nd, Trey Payne would reach with a single. He would then steal 2nd.

Sutton, would work a full count walk to load the bases. Jenkins, would drive in Shouse and Payne with a 2-RBI single to make it 8-1. Dawson Holland, would work a full count walk to load the bases once again. pitch hitter Sam Hammontree, would bring in Sutton after drawing a walk as the Dragons took a 9-1 lead. Tilley, would strikeout the side in the bottom of the fourth to send it to the fifth with Pickens leading West Hall, 9-1.

 

In the top of the fifth, Rice would reach with a 1-out single. Shouse, would then send one over the fence in left center for a 2-run home run to make it 11-1 Dragons. Sutton, would keep the inning alive with a 2-out double. Jenkins, would follow that up by drawing a walk. The Spartans, would get out of the fifth with a fly out as the Dragons took an 11-1 lead.

Brodie Keener, came on in relief of Tilley in the bottom of the fifth. The Spartans, would plate a run in the frame on 2 walks, a wild pitch, a stolen base, and 2 hits. The Dragons, would get out of the fifth after they threw out a runner trying to score from 2nd. Going to the sixth, Pickens led West Hall, 11-2.

 

Hammontree, led off the sixth by reaching on an error. Ledbetter, followed that by drawing a walk. Christian Starks, would reach on an error that would allow Hammontree to score. Ledbetter and Starks would advance on the play. Rice, would bring in Ledbetter on a sacrifice fly RBI to make it 13-2. Later on, Jenkins, would drive in Starks on a single to make it 14-2. Holland, would bring in Shouse by drawing a bases loaded walk to make it 15-2 Dragons.

Tate Hales, would come on in relief of Keener in the bottom of the sixth. Hales, would toss a scoreless sixth inning with two ground outs and a strikeout as the Dragons took game two, 15-2.

 

Stats for the Dragons in Game 2:

Connor Shouse: 4-5 with a double, 2 singles, 1 home run, 2 RBI, and 4 runs scored

Trey Payne: 2-3 with 2 singles, 1 hit by pitch, and 2 runs scored

Cade Sutton: 2-3 with a single, a double, 1 walk, and 2 runs scored

Kam Jenkins: 4-4 with 3 singles, 1 double, and 4 RBI

Dawson Holland: 2 walks and 1 RBI

Tyler Payne: 1-1 with a single, a walk, and 2 RBI

Sam Hammontree: 1 walk, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored

Trace Ledbetter: 1 walk, and 2 runs scored

Christian Starks: 1 run scored

A.J. Rice: 2-3 with a double, a single, 1 RBI, and 2 runs scored

JP Nunn: 1 run scored

Kyle Grno: 1 hit by pitch

James Tilley: 4 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 7 K on 69 pitches

Brodie Keener: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 K on 19 pitches

Tate Hales: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K on 11 pitches

 

The Dragons, win the series by sweeping the double header. Pickens, now finds themselves at 14-3 overall, and 7-1 in 7-AAA. Game three of the series will be on Thursday, March 21st at Dunn Field. First pitch set for 5:55 pm.

Dragons sweep region series with White County

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Cleveland, Ga — On Thursday, March 14th, the Pickens Dragons baseball team celebrated pi day by heading up to Cleveland, Ga to take on the White County Warriors in the third game of their 3-game set. Coming into the third game, the Dragons, had won the previous two games, 4-0. In those two games, they combined to give up just 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 hit batsman while striking out 27 batters. The Pitching for the Dragons, continued its stellar series as A.J. Rice, Cason Cannon, and J.P. Nunn combined for a shutout in the 7-0 win.

 

The Dragons, got things started early in the top of the first as Connor Shouse drew a lead off walk on a full count to reach base. Shouse, would advance to 2nd on a wild pitch, and steal 3rd. Trey Payne, would drive in Shouse with an RBI ground out to make it 1-0. Pickens threatened to score more in the top half of the frame as Kam Jenkins and Dawson Holland hit back to back singles, but the Warriors would get out of it to send it to the bottom of the first.

In the bottom half of the first, Rice, the starter for the Dragons, picked up his first strikeout on three pitches. After the Warriors would reach on a 1-out double, Rice would get out of the potential jam with a ground out and a pop fly to send it to the second with Pickens leading, 1-0.

 

In the top of the second, Trace Ledbetter, led off by drawing a walk on four pitches. Christian Starks, would follow that up with a single to put runners at 1st and 2nd. Rice, would then move them over on a sacrifice bunt. Shouse, would bring in Ledbetter on an RBI ground out to make it 2-0. A 2-out RBI double by Trey Payne would drive in Starks to make it 3-0 Dragons going to the bottom of the second.

In the bottom of the second, Rice, would have a clean 1-2-3 inning as he forced a ground out and picked up his 2nd and 3rd strikeout. Going to the third, Pickens led White County, 3-0.

 

In the top of the third, Holland, kept the inning alive with a 2-out walk, but the Warriors got out of it with a ground out. In the bottom of the frame, the Warriors would reach base with a lead off single. That would be all for the Warriors in the third as Rice struck out the side to bring his total to 6. Going to the fourth, Pickens led White County, 3-0.

 

In the top of the fourth, Starks, picked up his 2nd hit of the night with a 1-out single. The Warriors, were able to turn an inning ending double play to send it to the bottom of the fourth. In the bottom of the inning, Rice, picked up two ground outs and his 7th strikeout in a scoreless fourth. Going to the fifth, Pickens still led White County, 3-0.

 

Shouse, would lead off the top of the fifth by drawing his 2nd walk of the game. He would then steal 2nd to get into scoring position. Shouse, would then swipe his second bag of the inning as he would steal 3rd, then score on an error to make it 4-0. Jenkins, would keep the inning going by drawing a 2-out walk. His courtesy runner, Nunn, would advance to 2nd on an error. The Warriors, would get out of the inning with a strikeout.

In his final inning of work, Rice, struck out the side for the second time to bring his strikeout total to 10 on the night. Going to the sixth, Pickens led White County, 4-0.

 

In the top of the sixth, the Dragons worked a little 2-out magic as Starks reached base after his third hit of the game. Rice, would follow that up with an RBI double to stretch the lead out to 5-0. Shouse, would then draw his third walk of the night to put two runners on. The Warriors, would get out of the sixth after forcing a pop up. Cannon, would come on in relief of Rice in the bottom of the sixth.

Cannon, would work around a 2-out single as he struck out 2 in his lone inning of work. Going to the seventh, Pickens led White County, 5-0.

 

Cade Sutton, would lead off the top of the seventh by drawing a walk. Jenkins, would bring him in with an RBI double to make it 6-0. Jenkins, would be thrown out at 3rd trying to stretch it to a triple. Holland, would then pick up his 2nd hit of the night as he smacked a double into center. After Holland advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, Sam Hammontree would drive Holland in with an RBI ground out to make it 7-0 Dragons going to the bottom of the inning.

Nunn, would come on in relief of Cannon in the bottom of the seventh to finish the game off. Nunn, would toss a scoreless inning with a strikeout, a pop out, and a ground out to seal the 7-0 win and a sweep for the Dragons.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 3 walks, 1 RBI, and 2 runs scored

Trey Payne: 1-4 with a double and 2 RBI

Cade Sutton: 1 walk and 1 run scored

Kam Jenkins: 2-3 with a single, a double, a walk, and 1 RBI

Dawson Holland: 2-3 with a single, a double, a walk, and 1 run scored

Sam Hammontree: 1 RBI

Trace Ledbetter: 1-3 with a walk, a single, and 1 run scored

Christian Starks: 3-4 with 3 singles, and 2 runs scored

A.J. Rice: 1-2 with a sac bunt, a double, and 1 RBI & 5 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER, 10 K on 71 pitches

Cason Cannon: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 K on 14 pitches

JP Nunn: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 K on 17 pitches

 

7-AAA Baseball Standings:

Pickens: 12-3 (5-1)

Lumpkin: 8-6 (4-2)

Dawson: 10-4 (4-2)

White County: 8-7 (2-4)

West Hall: 4-11 (2-4)

Wesleyan: 4-7 (1-2)

Gilmer: 6-7 (0-3)

 

In the series sweep against White County, Dragons pitchers combined to go 21 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 0 R, 0 ER, 40 K on 276 pitches. The Dragons will now turn to the busy week they have next week as they will play four games. The first game being a non-region game against the Fannin Rebels on Monday, March 18th at Dunn Field. First pitch set for 5:30.

Dragons shut out Tallulah Falls on Senior Night

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was a great day to celebrate as the Pickens Dragons hosted the Tallulah Falls Indians on Friday, April 21st for Senior Night. Prior to the ball game, the Dragons recognized their 4 Seniors from the 2023 class. Colby Brooks, Evan Giddens, Tee Knight, and Harlan Will were honored for their contributions to the Pickens baseball program. Their parents, threw out the first pitch to their sons to close out the ceremony. The Dragons, picked up their 26th win of the season with a 5-0 shut out of the Indians.

 

In the top of the first, Dragons starter Tee Knight, worked around a 1-out walk as he got some help from his defense as Connor Shouse picked up a ball that dropped in the outfield and threw a strike to Senior Evan Giddens who tagged out the runner for the 2nd out. Knight, picked up his 1st strikeout to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the frame, Shouse, Trace Ledbetter, and Dawson Holland all reached on consecutive walks to load the bases.

Senior Harlan Will, drove in Shouse with a sacrifice fly RBI to make it 1-0. After a single from Tyler Payne to load the bases again, Trey Payne brought in Ledbetter with an RBI single to make it 2-0. James Tilley, drove in Holland with a sacrifice fly RBI to make it 3-0 Dragons going to the second.

 

In the top of the second, Knight, worked around a lead off single as he got back to back pop ups an his 2nd strikeout to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the second, Senior Colby Brooks led off with an infield single. Brooks, advanced to 3rd on a 1-out single by Ledbetter. The Dragons, then pulled off a double steal as Ledbetter stopped halfway to 2nd which allowed Brooks to come in and score to make it 4-0 going to the third.

 

In the top of the third, after getting a fly out for the 1st out of the frame, Knight would be relieved by Tate Hales. Hales, worked around a 1-out walk to get a fly out and a strikeout to send it to the bottom of the third. In the bottom of the third, Tyler Payne, reached on a 1-out single. Trey Payne, would reach on a fielder’s choice as pitch runner Davin Abernathy would be throw out at 2nd.

The Indians starter, Andrew Skvarka, got out of the bottom of the third with another ground out to send it to the fourth with the Dragons leading, 4-0.

 

In the top of the fourth, Hales would be relieved by Cason Cannon. Cannon, had an impressive outing as he picked up 2 strikeouts and a fly out on 8 pitches to send it to the bottom of the fourth. In the bottom of the fourth, Giddens, led off with a single. He would advance to 3rd on the play after a 2-base error. Shouse, brought in Giddens with a sacrifice fly RBI to make it 5-0 Dragons going to the fifth.

 

In the top of the fifth, Cannon, continued his fantastic outing as he picked up two more strikeouts and a ground out to short in a clean fifth inning. In the bottom of the fifth, Sam Hammontree, who came in for Tyler Payne, reached on a 2-out single. Hammontree, would advance to 3rd after Trey Payne reached on an error. They would be left stranded and the game would go to the sixth, with the Dragons still leading, 5-0.

 

In the top of the sixth, JP Nunn came on in relief of Cannon. The Indians, had their first big threat of the game as they loaded the bases with nobody out. Nunn, got out of the jam with back to back strikeouts and a pop up to 1st to send it to the bottom of the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, Giddens, again led off with a single. After Shouse reached with a 1-out single, Christian Starks, who came on for Holland in the fifth, got on with a 2-out walk to load the bases.

The Indians, were able to get out of their own bases loaded jam to send it to the top of the seventh with the Dragons ahead, 5-0.

 

Nunn, came back out for the top of the seventh to close things out. Nunn did just that as he had a clean 1-2-3 inning with 2 strikeouts and a ground out to short as the Dragons picked up the win, 5-0.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 1-2 with a single, a walk, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored

Trace Ledbetter: 1-3 with a single, a walk, and 1 run scored

Dawson Holland: 1 walk, and 1 run scored

Christian Starks: 1 walk

Harlan Will: 1 RBI

Tyler Payne: 2-2 with 2 singles

Sam Hammontree: 1-1 with a single

Trey Payne: 1-3 with a single and 1 RBI

James Tilley: 1 RBI

Evan Giddens: 2-3 with 2 singles and 1 run scored

Colby Brooks: 1-2 with a single and 1 run scored

Tee Knight: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K on 40 pitches

Tate Hales: .2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K on 19 pitches

Cason Cannon: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, on 25 pitches

JP Nunn: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 HBP, 4 K, on 27 pitches

 

The Dragons, finish the regular season at 26-4 overall and 7-AAA region champions. Next up for the Dragons, a first round best of 3 series with the Hart County Bulldogs in the GHSA 3A State Baseball Tournament. The Bulldogs, are the #4 seed out of region 8. The best of 3 series begins on Monday, April 24th with a doubleheader at Dunn Field. First pitch for game 1 is set for 5:00 pm.

Dragons offense stifled against Lumpkin

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Dahlonega, Ga — On a gorgeous day for high school baseball on Tuesday, April 11th as the Pickens Dragons made the little over an hour trip up to Dahlonega to begin their final 3-game series in 7-AAA play. Coming into the game, the Dragons had won 15 straight and were in 1st place in 7-AAA. The Indians, came into the game winning 2 out of 3 against several Florida teams last week and were tied for 2nd with Wesleyan in 7-AAA. Harper Davenport, threw a complete game, 4-hit shutout for the Indians as they took game 1, 4-0.

 

In the top of the first, Trace Ledbetter would reach with a 1-out single. In what would be a theme throughout the game, Davenport would induce an inning ending double play to send it to the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the frame, Davenport led off by reaching on a double. After taking 3rd on a wild pitch, Davenport would come in to score on an RBI triple by Alejandro Narvaez to make it 1-0.

Cooper Scott, would follow that up with an RBI single on the next pitch to bring in Narvaez to make it 2-0. Scott, would come around to score after a grounder and a pair of passed balls to make it 3-0 Indians going to the second.

 

To lead off the top of the second, new Brewton-Parker College commit Harlan Will, would reach on an error. After picking up his first strikeout of the game, Davenport, induced the 2nd inning ending double play to send it to the bottom of the second with the Indians leading, 3-0. In the bottom of the second, Dragons starter Connor Shouse, picked up his 3rd strikeout of the game for the first out.

Mason Hester, then reached on a 1-out single. Tyler Boggs, then followed by drawing a walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd with 1-out. Freshman catcher Kam Jenkins, threw out Hester after he attempted to take 3rd for the 2nd out. Shouse, picked up his 2nd strikeout and his 4th overall for the final out to send it to the third with Lumpkin still leading, 3-0.

 

In the top of the third, freshman A.J. Rice, led off with a single to left field. After Davenport got Evan Giddens to fly out to center for the first out, he got a come backer from Colby Brooks that started the third straight inning ending double play to send it to the bottom of the third with the Indians still up, 3-0. In the bottom of the third, Shouse got the first two outs of the inning via strikeout, giving him 6 on the night.

Peyton Wood, kept the inning alive by reaching on an error. After Wood stole 2nd, Adian Rogers would bring him in with the single to make it 4-0. Jenkins, picked up his 2nd caught stealing of the game as he threw out Rogers attempting to steal 3rd for the final out of the third. Going to the fourth, it was 4-0 Lumpkin.

 

In the top of the fourth, Davenport, picked up his first fully clean inning as he got 2 ground outs and his 2nd strikeout of the game to send it to the bottom of the fourth. In the bottom of the fourth, Shouse, in what would be his final inning of work, got around hitting a batter with 2-outs as he picked up his 7th and 8th strikeout and a ground out to send it to the fifth, Indians leading, 4-0.

 

In the top of the fifth, Dawson Holland reached with a 1-out single. but Davenport picked up his 3rd and 4th strikeout of the game to get out of the top of the frame and send it to the bottom half of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, Tee Knight came on in relief of Shouse. Knight, worked around a 2-out error and a walk to keep the Indians scoreless and send it to the sixth, Lumpkin up, 4-0.

 

In the top of the sixth, Giddens led off by reaching on an error. The Indians, then turned their 4th double play of the game as Rogers caught a shallow pop fly by Brooks and was able to get Giddens at 1st for the second out. Shouse, now playing shortstop, kept the top of the sixth alive with a single. Davenport, got Ledbetter to line out to left for the 3rd out of the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, Cason Cannon came on in relief of Knight.

After giving up a lead off single to Hayden Gilbert, Cannon picked up a strikeout, a ground out to Giddens, and Jekins picked up his 3rd caught stealing as he threw out Gilbert trying to take 3rd. Going to the seventh, the Indians still led the Dragons, 4-0.

 

In the top of the seventh, Trey Payne, led off by drawing a walk. Davenport, looking for the complete game, induced what would be the 5th double play of the game for the first 2 outs of the seventh. Davenport, then picked up his 5th strikeout of the game to finish off the complete game shutout as the Indians took game 1, 4-0.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 1-3 with a single & 4 IP, 5 hits, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 8 K on 78 pitches

Trace Ledbetter: 1-3 with a single

Trey Payne: 1 walk

Dawson Holland: 1-3 with a single

Kam Jenkins: 3 runners thrown out

A.J. Rice: 1-2 with a single

Tee Knight: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K on 14 pitches

Cason Cannon: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K on 11 pitches

 

The series will now shift to Jasper on Thursday, April 13th as the Dragons will host the Indians for game 2 of the 3-game set. The Dragons, still find themselves in 1st place in 7-AAA as they are 22-4 and 14-2 in region play. Lumpkin, is now 19-5 and 10-3 in region play. First pitch on Thursday is set for 5:55 pm.

Dragons defeat Bobcats to push win streak to 10 games

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Ellijay, Ga — It was a nice but windy day on Tuesday, March 28th as the Pickens Dragons traveled the short distance up to Ellijay for game 1 of their 3-game region series against their 515 rival, the Gilmer Bobcats. Coming into the game, the Dragons were riding a 9 game win streak and were tied atop the 7-AAA Standings with Lumpkin. The Bobcats, came into the game looking to break a bad string of luck and to pick up their first region win. The Dragons, piled up 15 K’s as a team continued their winning ways with a 7-1 victory.

 

In the top of the first, the Dragons wasted no time getting on the board as Ga Tech commit Connor Shouse, worked a full count and then sent a baseball over the left field wall to give Pickens the 1-0 lead. Harlan Will, reached on a 2-out walk, but the Bobcats starter Ethan McCollum, got out of the top half of the first only allowing the 1 run. In the bottom of the first, Austin Zabala led off by drawing a walk.

Shouse, the starter for the Dragons, settled down and got a grounder to 3rd base, and 2 strikeouts to send it to the top of the second with Pickens leading, 1-0.

 

In the top of the second, James Tilley reached after drawing a full count walk. Colby Brooks, then reached on a bunt single with 2-outs. Shouse, followed that up by drawing a walk to load the bases. McCollum, again was able to avoid the scoring threat and send it to the bottom of the second. In the bottom of the frame, the Bobcats, got a 1-out walk, and a 2-out walk. Shouse, was able to work around those pair of walks to send it to the third with the Dragons up, 1-0.

 

In the top of the third, Dawson Holland led off by reaching on an error. Will, followed up with a single. Holland, came in to score after a single by Trey Payne to make it 2-0. Kam Jenkins, reached after a dropped 3rd strike. Tilley, brought in pitch runner Ezra Faber with a sacrifice fly RBI to make it 3-0 Dragons going to the bottom of the third. In the bottom of the third, Shouse, had his cleanest inning of the game as he picked up 2 K’s and a grounder on 8 pitches.

Going to the top of the fourth, the Dragons now led the Bobcats, 3-0.

 

In the top of the fourth, Shouse led off by drawing his 2nd walk of the game. He then stole 2nd base to put himself in scoring position for Trace Ledbetter. Ledbetter, drove in Shouse with an RBI double to make it 4-0 Dragons. Holland, followed that up by reaching on an error. Tyler Payne, pitch hitting for Will, drove in Ledbetter with a grounder to make it 5-0. Holland, would come around to score as Jenkins reached on a 2-out single and Tilley drew a full count walk.

In the bottom of the fourth, Shouse picked up his 2nd consecutive 1-2-3 inning as he struck out the side on 11 pitches to send it to the top of the fifth with the Dragons leading the Bobcats, 6-0.

 

In the top of the fifth, Brooks led off with his 2nd hit of the game. Brooks, then advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch. After the Bobcats got Shouse out on a fly out, they would get Brooks out in a rundown for the 2nd out. Hayden Berry, who came on in relief of McCollum, got a come backer for the 3rd and final out of the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, Shouse, finished his outing off strong with 2 more K’s and a grounder to send it to the sixth.

 

In the top of the sixth, Haden West, who came on in relief of Berry, picked up the Bobcats first 1-2-3 inning as he got 2 grounders and a pop up to send it to the bottom of the inning with the Dragons leading 6-0. Cason Cannon, came on in relief of Shouse in the bottom of the sixth and he was impressive in his 1 inning of work. Cannon, picked up 2 K’s and a pop up to send it to the seventh, with Pickens leading Gilmer, 6-0.

 

In the top of the seventh, Christian Starks, pitch hitting for Tilley, reached on an error. Sam Hammontree, pitch hitting for Evan Giddens, followed up with a single. Brooks, reached on a 4-pitch walk to load the bases. Shouse, now at shortstop, hit a deep fly ball into the outfield that would bring in Starks to make  it 7-0 Dragons going to the bottom of the seventh.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Bobcats got a lead off walk. The Bobcats then got back to back 1-out walks to load the bases. Gilmer, picked up their first hit and their first run after a single to make it 7-1. JP Nunn, who came on in relief of Cannon, got back to back strikeouts to preserve the 7-1 win for the Dragons.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 1-3 with a solo home run, 2 walks, 1 RBI, 2 runs scored, & 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 11 K on 77 pitches

Trace Ledbetter: 1-5 with a double, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored

Dawson Holland: 2 runs scored

Harlan Will: 1-1 with a single and a walk

Ezra Faber: 1 run scored

Tyler Payne: 1 RBI

Trey Payne: 1-4 with a single

Kam Jenkins: 1-4 with a single

James Tilley: 2 walks, 1 RBI

Christian Starks: 1 run scored

Sam Hammontree: 1-1 with a single

Colby Brooks: 2-3 with 2 singles, and 1 walk

Cason Cannon: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K on 13 pitches

JP Nunn: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K on 34 pitches

 

The Dragons, got a little bit of help from the Dawson Tigers as they defeated the Lumpkin Indians in the first game of their series. With that Lumpkin loss, the Dragons are now in sole possession of 1st place in 7-AAA. Pickens, will be back home on Thursday, March 30th as they will host the Gilmer Bobcats for game 2 of their 3-game series. First pitch is set for 5:55 pm.

Dragons run rule Spartans to open up series

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was another beautiful day in Jasper, Ga as the Pickens Dragons hosted the Spartans of West Hall in game 1 of a 3-game set in 7-AAA. Coming into the game, the Dragons were in a 3-way tie for first place in the region standings with Dawson and Lumpkin. The Spartans, came into the game in a 3-way tie for fourth in the region standings with Wesleyan and White County. The Dragons, kept up their winning ways as they were able to pull out a 12-2 win in 6 innings.

 

In the top of the first, the Spartans were able to bring their lead off man home to score after a single, a walk, a bunt, a hit by pitch, and a sacrifice fly to put the Spartans up 1-0 going to the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the frame, Trace Ledbetter reached on a 1-out error. Dawson Holland, followed that by reaching on a single. Tyler Payne, would bring in Ledbetter with a grounder to 3rd to tie the game up at 1 going to the second.

 

In the top of the second, Dragons starter Connor Shouse, picked up his 2nd and 3rd strikeout and a ground out in an 8- pitch inning. In the bottom of the second, the Dragons, opened things up a bit as they scored 6 runs on 4 hits, 1 walk, 1 hit by pitch, and an error to make it 7-1 going to the third.

 

In the top of the third, the Spartans used 2 walks, a hit by pitch, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly to plate a run and cut the Dragons lead down to 7-2. In the bottom of the third, the Dragons got a 2-out walk by Colby Brooks, but that would be all as they went to the fourth, Pickens leading West Hall, 7-2.

 

Cason Cannon, came on in relief of Shouse in the top of the fourth. In his first of two innings of work, Cannon sat down the Spartans in order to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom half of the fourth, the Dragons would go down in order as the Spartans got two ground outs and a strikeout to send it to the top of the fifth with the Dragons still leading, 7-2.

 

In the top of the fifth, Cannon, worked around a 1-out hit by pitch, and a 2-out single. The top half of the inning came to an end when the Spartans tried a double steal. Catcher Kam Jenkins, made a great throw over to Shouse at 2nd to get the runner for the 3rd out. In the bottom of the fifth, Trey Payne got things going with a lead off walk. Jenkins and James Tilley followed with back to back singles.

Evan Giddens, hit a shot down the 3rd base line that would score Payne and courtesy runner Tee Knight. After a wide throw on an attempt to get Tilley at 3rd, he would also come in to score to make it 10-2 Dragons going to the top of the sixth.

 

In the top of the sixth inning, JP Nunn came on in relief of Cannon. Nunn, worked around a little bit of trouble during the inning, but was able to keep runs off the board and send it the bottom of the frame. In the bottom of the sixth, Holland led off with his 3rd hit of the game. Harlan Will, then reached after drawing a walk. Trey Payne, then hit a single to right field scoring Holland. A misplay by the right fielder led to the pitch runner, Knight coming in to score.

The Dragons, took game 1 of the 3 game series by a score of 12-2.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 1-4 with a double, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored

Trace Ledbetter: 1 RBI, and 1 run scored

Dawson Holland: 3-4 with 2 singles, 1 double, and 2 runs scored

Tyler Payne: 1-2 with a single

Harlan Will: 1 walk

Trey Payne: 1-2 with a single, a walk, 2 RBI, and 1 run scored

Kam Jenkins: 2-3 with 2 singles

James Tilley: 1-2 with a single, a walk, and 2 runs scored

Evan Giddens: 1-2 with a single, 2  RBI, and 1 run scored

Colby Brooks: 2 walks and 1 run scored

Tee Knight: 3 runs scored

 

These two teams will be back in action on Thursday, March 23rd for game 2 as the series shifts down to Oakwood. The Dragons, will look to win their 3rd straight region series and keep pace with Dawson and Lumpkin. First pitch set for 5:55 pm.

Dragons sweep Luella, earn first trip to Sweet 16

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — After sweeping the Ridgeland Panthers last week, the Pickens Dragons earned the #2 seed for 7-AAAA. For the first time in school history, the Dragons would be hosting a playoff series as they welcomed the #3 seed out of region 5, the Luella Lions. The 4A State Baseball Tournament format is a doubleheader on one day, and if needed, a third and final game the next day. Two wins advances you to the next round. The Dragons, had outstanding pitching in both games on Wednesday, April 27th, and the bats weren’t bad either as they swept the Lions in the doubleheader, 16-1 and 12-1.

 

Game 1:

Trey Payne took the mound for the Dragons in game 1 of the best of 3 series and he was fantastic. Payne, got the Lions in order with a strikeout, a pop out, and a fly out to left field on 12 pitches to send it to the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the first, the designated hitter Sam Hammontree, led off with a double. Hammontree, would then advance to 3rd on a grounder by Trace Ledbetter. Anthony Antinozzi would drive in Hammontree on another grounder to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead going to the second.

 

In the top of the second, Payne picked up where he left off in the first as he again sat Luella down in order on 11 pitches. In the bottom half of the second, Payne led off by reaching on an error by the center fielder. After a pop out and a fly out, James Tilley drew a walk to reach 1st. Colby Brooks, then laced a single into the outfield as both courtesy runner Tee Knight and Tilley would come around to score to make it 3-0 Dragons. Hammontree, then hit another double, this one scoring Brooks to make it 4-0 Pickens going to the third.

 

In the top of the third, Payne got the bottom third of the Lions lineup in order on 11 pitches to send the Dragons bats back up to the plate. In the bottom of the third, Pickens broke things open. Using 6 hits, a couple of errors, and several stolen bases, the Dragons scored 7 runs in the bottom of the third to make it 11-0 going to the the fourth.

 

In the top of the fourth, Luella got it’s only hit and run of the game off of a solo home run. The Lions, would also draw a 2-out walk, but Payne would get the next batter to pop up to Evan Giddens on the next pitch to send it to the bottom of the fourth with Pickens leading, 11-1. In the bottom of the fourth, Cade Sutton reached on a 1-out walk. Giddens, then drove him in with an RBI single. Tilley, then reached on a single of his own. Brooks, would drive in both Giddens and Tilley with a 2 RBI single to make it 14-1. With 2 outs, Ledbetter stepped to the plate. On a 1-0 count, he would smack one over the left field wall for a 2-run home run and to walk off game one giving the Dragons a 16-1 win.

 

Game 2:

For game 2 of the best of 3 series, the Dragons were designated the “away” team, and the Lions were designated the “home” team. In the top of the first, the Dragons carried over their hot bats from game 1 as Sam Hammontree led off with a double. Trace Ledbetter would drive him in with an RBI single. Anthony Antinozzi, then drew a walk. After Ledbetter advanced to 3rd, the Dragons did a double steal as Antinozzi took 2nd, and Ledbetter came home on the throw to 2nd to make it 2-0. Antinozzi, was then able to tag up and advance to 3rd after a fly ball to right field by Harlan Will. Antinozzi, came in to score on a sacrifice by Trey Payne to make it 3-0 Pickens going to the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the first, Dragons starter JP Nunn, got into a bit of a jam as he issued a 1-out walk and then the next batter would reach on an error to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Nunn, was able to shake it off and pick up his 1st and 2nd strikeout of the game to send it to the second with the Dragons ahead, 3-0.

 

In the top of the second, Pickens got hits from Hammontree, Antinozzi, and Will as they plated 4 runs on 3 hits and 2 errors to stretch the lead out to 7-0 going to the bottom of the frame. In the bottom of the second, Nunn had a less stressful half inning as he picked up his 3rd and 4th strikeout and sat the Lions down on just 9 pitches. Going to the third, the Dragons led Luella, 7-0.

 

In the top of the third, James Tilley reached on an error by the 3rd baseman with 2-out to keep the inning alive. Colby Brooks, drove in Tilley with a double to make it 8-0 Pickens going to the bottom of the third. In the bottom of the third, Nunn kept rolling as he picked up his 5th and 6th strikeout of the game and sent it to the fourth with the Dragons leading, 8-0.

 

In the top of the fourth, Ledbetter led off with a walk. After Antinozzi flew out to right, Will drew a walk. Payne, brought in both runs with a base hit to make it 10-0. After a fly out by Sutton, Giddens drew a walk. Tilley, would then bring in Payne with an RBI single to make it 11-0. Brooks, followed that up with an RBI single of his own as Giddens would come in to score. Going to the bottom of the fourth, Pickens led Luella, 12-0. In the bottom of the fourth, the Lions got on the board again with a solo home run to make it 12-1. Luella followed that up with a little bloop hit down the right field line. Payne, patrolling right, got to the ball and threw a strike to Tilley covering 2nd to get the runner trying to stretch a single into a double. Nunn, did the rest of the work in the fourth as he picked up his 7th and 8th strikeout to send it to the fifth with the Dragons up, 12-1.

 

In the top of the fifth, the Dragons brought in some substitutions to get an at bat. First up, Cason Cannon, who sent a shot right back where it came from, but was caught by the pitcher. After a line out to right by Stephens, Jackie Jarrett drew a 2-out walk. He would be left stranded at 1st as the Lions got a strikeout to send it to the bottom of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, Ledbetter came on to try to finish this game off. After striking out the first two batters looking, the Lions were able to draw a 2-out walk. Not fazed by the walk, Ledbetter struck out the next batter looking to seal the win 12-1, and send the Dragons to the Sweet 16.

 

Up next for the Dragons, a date with the Thomas County Central Yellow Jackets in the Sweet 16. The Yellow Jackets, are the #1 seed out of region 1. They swept New Hampstead in the first round. This will be the Dragons first ever trip to the Sweet 16 of the state baseball tournament. Games 1 and 2 are set for Tuesday, May 3rd and the “if” game is set for May 4th. Times are to be determined.

Dragons defeat Generals to begin region series

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — Coming off of a series with Northwest Whitfield last week which saw the Dragons take two of three from the Bruins, Pickens began a series with the Heritage Generals on Tuesday, March 22nd. Heritage, swept the Southeast Whitfield Raiders two weeks ago, but did not participate in region play last week. The Generals, came into the game with a 9-5 overall record and 3-0 in 7-AAAA play. The Dragons, came into the game with an identical 9-5 overall record and a 4-2 record in 7-AAAA play. Off the strength of big time pitching performances by Connor Shouse and JP Nunn, the Dragons came away with a 5-1 win over the Generals in game 1 of the series.

 

Sophomore Ga Tech commit Connor Shouse, got the start for the Dragons in game 1 of the series. After giving up a lead off walk, Shouse was able to regroup as he would collect his first two strikeouts of the game and send us to the bottom of the first, still 0-0. In the bottom of the first, Shouse led off with a single to the right side. Shouse then took 2nd after a passed ball. He would be left at 2nd as the Generals were able to force a pop up to 3rd, a strikeout, and a ground out to send us to the top of the second, still scoreless.

 

In the top of the second, Heritage was again able to draw a lead off walk. After the walk, Shouse collected himself and struck out the side to send it to the bottom of the frame. In the bottom of the second, the Dragons were able to get on the board with a couple of runs. Tyler Payne worked the count full then drew a 1-out walk, Trey Payne then hit a single, James Tilley followed that up with a single of his own to load the bases. Colby Brooks, reached on a fielder’s choice as courtesy runner Cason Cannon and Trey Payne came around to score to make it 2-0. Shouse then drew a four pitch walk, and Trace Ledbetter followed with a single to again load the bases. Brooks came in to score after Anthony Antinozzi reached on an error to make it 3-0. The Generals, were able to force a fly out to center as we’d head to the top of the third with Pickens now leading Heritage, 3-0.

 

In the top of the third, Heritage, was able to force yet another lead off walk. Their third in three innings. The Dragons got a big double play after the walk as Ledbetter gathered the ground ball, stepped on first, then fired it to Tilley at second to complete the double play. Shouse then ended the top half of the third with his 6th strikeout of the game. In the bottom of the third, Cade Sutton led off by reaching on an error. After a beautiful bunt by Tyler Payne, Sutton found himself at 2nd. Trey Payne then reached on a 4 pitch walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd with just 1 out. Tilley, reached first on a fielder’s choice, which allowed Sutton to come in and score to make it 4-0 Dragons. Brooks, then nearly beat out a grounder to the third baseman as they’d go to the top of the fourth, with Pickens leading the Generals, 4-0.

 

In the top of the fourth, Shouse picked up his 7th strikeout of the game to begin the top half of the frame. While the pitches weren’t missing by much, Heritage was able to draw a walk for the 4th time to put a runner at 1st. After the walk, Shouse then collected his 8th strikeout for the second out of the inning. After the Generals picked up their first hit of the ball game, Shouse ended the top half of the fourth with his 9th strikeout to send us to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Heritage got it’s first clean inning of the game as they were able to force two fly outs and a ground out to send it to the fifth with the Dragons ahead, 4-0.

 

In the top of the fifth, Shouse forced two ground outs and picked up his 10th strikeout in a clean top half of the frame to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the fifth, Sutton reached on a 1-out single. Tyler Payne reached on a 4-pitch walk to put runners on 1st and 2nd with 1-out. The runners then moved up to 2nd and 3rd as Trey Payne grounded out to first. Tilley, drove in the courtesy runner Cannon to make it 5-0 Pickens. Tilley, advanced to 2nd on the throw home and the Dragons had runners at 2nd and 3rd with 2-outs. Heritage, got out of the inning after a fly out to right field and they’d go to the top of the sixth with Pickens now leading the Generals, 5-0.

 

In the top of the sixth, JP Nunn came on in relief of Shouse. Heritage picked up a run on 3 hits in the top of the inning to cut the Dragons lead to 5-1. In the bottom of the frame, Ledbetter reached on a 1-out single. Antinozzi reached on a walk to put runners on 1st and 2nd with 1-out. The Generals, forced to pop outs to send it to the seventh with the Dragons ahead, 5-1.

 

In the top of the seventh, Nunn worked around a lead off walk as he picked up his 2nd and 3rd strikeout and left that runner stranded to end the ball game and seal the win for the Dragons in game 1 of the series, 5-1.

 

Stats For The Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 1-3 with a single and a walk (5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 10 K, 4 BB, 81 pitches)

Trace Ledbetter: 2-4 with 2 singles

Anthony Antinozzi: 1 walk

Cade Sutton: 1-4 with a single and 1 run scored

Tyler Payne: 2 walks, and 1 sacrifice bunt

Trey Payne: 1-2 with a single, a walk, and 1 run scored

James Tilley: 2-3 with 2 singles and 1 RBI

Colby Brooks: 2 RBI and 1 run scored

Cason Cannon: 2 runs scored

 

7-AAAA Baseball Standings:

Heritage: 9-6 (3-1)

Pickens: 10-5 (5-2)

Cedartown: 9-6 (5-2)

Northwest Whitfield: 8-7 (2-2)

Central-Carroll: 10-7 (3-4)

Ridgeland: 6-7 (2-4)

Southeast Whitfield: 3-14 (1-6)

 

The Dragons and Generals, will now turn their attention to the doubleheader that is set for Friday, March 25th at Heritage. The first game of the doubleheader has a first pitch time of 4:30 pm. The second game will follow shortly after the first game concludes.

 

Dragons open region play against Lions

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was time to start region play for the Pickens Dragons baseball team as they began a three game series with the Central-Carroll Lions on Wednesday, March 9th. Due to the rain that came in on Tuesday, the original schedule was adjusted a bit. The Tuesday game, was moved to Thursday, and the doubleheader that was originally scheduled to be played on Thursday at Central-Carroll, would now be played at Pickens. Coming into the game, the Dragons were 5-3 after a tough loss to Lumpkin County last week. The Lions, came in at 7-3, but were also coming off of a tough loss to Walnut Grove. Central-Carroll also came in ranked at #8 in the 4A poll. In a tightly played first game, the Dragons came away with a 3-2 win.

 

Connor Shouse took the mound for the first game of the doubleheader and he pitched very well for the Dragons. In the top of the first, the Lions collected a couple of hits, and a a run to take an early 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Dragons went down in order and we’d head to the second, with Central-Carroll leading 1-0.

 

In the top of the second, Shouse picked up his 3rd and 4th strikeout of the game. The Lions were able to bring in another run to extend their lead to 2-0. In the bottom of the frame, the Dragons again went down in order. Going to the third, Central-Carroll held a 2-0 lead.

 

In the top of the third, Shouse picked up his 5th strikeout of the game and kept the Lions at bay to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom half of the third, Pickens had their first base runners of the game as James Tilley drew a walk and Cade Sutton reached on a fielder’s choice. Central-Carroll worked around it and we’d head to the fourth with the Lions still ahead, 2-0.

 

In the top of the fourth, Shouse picked up his 6th and 7th strikeout of the game as he continued to shut down the Lions offense and keep the game within striking distance. In the bottom of the fourth, the Dragons worked some 2-out magic. Harlan Will reached on an error. Then, Tyler Payne was hit by a pitch. On a 2-2 count, Anthony Antinozzi laced one into the left center field gap. That double brought home courtesy runners Ethan Gemberling and Cason Cannon to tie the game up at 2. Tilley, was able to reach first after a dropped third strike. Antinozzi would advance to third and Tilley would advance to second after a wild pitch. The Lions were able to get out of the fourth with the game still tied at 2.

 

After giving up a walk to begin the top of the fifth, Shouse forced two ground outs and a fly out to send us to the bottom half of the frame. In the bottom of the fifth, Shouse reached third after a 1-out triple. Trace Ledbetter was then hit by a pitch. Trey Payne knocked one over to the right side of the diamond and brought in Shouse to give Pickens a 3-2 lead going to the sixth.

 

JP Nunn came on in relief of Shouse in the top of the sixth. Nunn, was able to keep the Lions off the scoreboard and sent us to the bottom of the inning.In the bottom of the sixth, The Dragons flew out three straight at bats to send us to the seventh with Pickens leading, 3-2.

 

Nunn, came back out for the top of the seventh to try and close the first game out. And close it out he did as the Dragons come back to take game 1 of the doubleheader and the series, 3-2.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 1-3 with a triple and 1 run scored

Trace Ledbetter: 1 hit by pitch

Trey Payne: 1 RBI

Tyler Payne: 1 hit by pitch

Anthony Antinozzi: 1-3 with 1 double, and 1 RBI

Ethan Gemberling: 1 run scored

Cason Cannon: 1 run scored

Dragons take part in and host Burnt Mountain Classic

PHS Wrestling, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Georgia — Several teams from multiple classifications made their way to the Dragons Den on Saturday December, 18th as PHS was the site for the annual Burnt Mountain Classic. The action started bright and early at 9 in the morning and went on into mid afternoon. Pickens, had a good showing as several Dragons wrestlers placed during the tournament.

 

1st: Dylan Gonzalez

3rd: Jack Flatt

4th: Chris Knight

4th: Cason Cannon

 

From @pickenswrestle twitter

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