6-run second inning helps Dragons defeat Indians

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — Despite the rain, the Pickens Dragons and the Lumpkin Indians began their three game region series on Tuesday, April 9th. Coming into the game, the Dragons, were 21-3 overall, 14-1 in 7-AAA, ranked #2 in AAA, and riding a 12-game win streak. The Indians, came into the game 12-10 overall, and 6-6 in 7-AAA. Prior to the game, the Dragons held a ceremony to honor those who were battling breast cancer. They wore special pink jerseys for the game that read “family”. A big second inning helped the Dragons pick up a 7-2 win over the Indians.

 

In the top of the first, the Indians looked to strike early as Harper Davenport reached by drawing a full count walk. Davenport would advance to 2nd after stealing the bag. Alejandro Narvaez, would follow by also drawing a walk on a full count to put runners at 1st and 2nd. The Indians, would then pull off a double steal as Davenport stole 3rd, and Narvaez stole 2nd.

Dragons starter Connor Shouse, would settle himself down and get out of the jam by striking out the next three batters to leave the runners stranded. In the bottom half of the first, Shouse, would lead off by drawing his own walk. Trey Payne, would reach on a fielder’s choice as Shouse would be forced out at 2nd. After an 11 pitch at bat between Cade Sutton and Narvaez, Narvaez got Sutton to pop out.

The Indians, would get out of the inning as Payne would be picked off trying to take 2nd. Going to the top of the second, Pickens and Lumpkin were tied at 0.

 

In the top of the second, Hayden Gilbert would lead off with a single. After Shouse picked up his 4th strikeout of the game, Gilbert, would get into scoring position after stealing 2nd. Shouse, would focus in and strikeout the next two batters to send it to the bottom of the second. Kam Jenkins, led off the bottom of the second by getting hit with a pitch. Trace Ledbetter, would follow with a single.

Dawson Holland, would reach with a single to load the bases with no one out. Tyler Payne, would bring in courtesy runner JP Nunn with an RBI ground out to make it 1-0. Christian Starks, would then smack a double that would score pitch runner Sam Dart to make it 2-0. A.J. Rice, would keep the line moving as he drove in Holland and Starks with a 2-RBI single to make it 4-0 Dragons.

Shouse, would lace a double down the left field line that would score Rice all the way from 1st to make it 5-0. After stealing 3rd, Shouse would come in to score after an RBI single from Trey Payne to make it 6-0 Dragons. Jenkins, would again be hit with a pitch to keep the inning alive. The Indians, would get out of the frame with a fly out. Going to the third, Pickens led Lumpkin, 6-0.

 

In the top of the third, Shouse got Davenport to fly out to Starks in left for the first out. Narvaez, would then draw his 2nd walk of the game to reach. Narvaez, would advance into scoring position by stealing 2nd. Tyler Boggs, would bring in Narvaez with an RBI single to make it 6-1. Courtesy runner Kendal Lee, would advance to 2nd as Peyton Wood grounded out to 3rd. Jenkins, would throw out Lee trying to steal 3rd to send it to the bottom of the inning.

In the bottom of the third, After Narvaez got the first two outs of the inning via pop out and strikeout, Starks, kept the inning going by getting hit with a pitch. Narvaez, would get out of the third with a ground out. Going to the fourth, Pickens led Lumpkin, 6-1.

 

Shouse, started off the top of the fourth with a fly out and his 7th strikeout. Mason Hester, kept the inning alive for the Indians with a single. Hester, would then steal 2nd to advance into scoring position. Shouse, would pick up his 8th strikeout to send it to the bottom of the fourth with the Dragons leading, 6-1. Shouse, led off the bottom of the fourth with a single. He would then steal 2nd to move into scoring position for Trey Payne.

Narvaez, would catch Shouse in between steps as Shouse would be tagged out after a bit of a rundown. Narvaez, would then pick up two strikeouts to send it to the fifth with Pickens leading Lumpkin, 6-1.

 

JP Nunn, would come on in relief of Shouse in the top of the fifth. He would pick up the first two outs of the inning via strikeout. Narvaez, would be hit by a pitch on a 2-2 count to keep the inning alive for the Indians. Narvaez, would then swiped 2nd for his 3rd steal of the game. Narvaez, would add a 4th steal for the game as he took 3rd. Nunn, would leave Narvaez stranded at 3rd as he picked up his 3rd strikeout to send it to the bottom of the fifth.

In the bottom of the fifth, Ledbetter would look to get things going as he reached base with a 1-out single. Holland, followed with his 2nd hit of the game to put runners at 1st and 2nd. Tyler Payne, would pick up his 2nd RBI of the game as he drove in Ledbetter with an RBI single to make it 7-1 Dragons. Narvaez, would use his quick pick off move to get pitch runner Coleman Keener at 1st for the second out.

Narvaez, would get out of the fifth having just given up the one run. Going to the sixth, Pickens now led Lumpkin, 7-1.

 

In the top of the sixth, Nunn, would work his second inning of relief as he forced a pop out, picked up his 4th strikeout, and ended the inning forcing a ground out as Shouse made a great play to snag it on the short hop. In the bottom of the sixth, Dawson Lowit, would hit a deep drive to left field that would one hop the wall for a ground rule double. He would advance to 3rd on a wild pitch.

Grant Hallman, who came on in relief of Narvaez, would pick up his 2nd strikeout of the inning and a fly out as Lowit would be left stranded. Going to the seventh, Pickens led Lumpkin, 7-1.

 

Brodie Keener, came on in relief of Nunn in the top of the seventh to try and finish the game off. He would get the first batter he faced as he would be thrown out at 1st after a dropped 3rd strike. Dakota Bennett, would draw a full count walk with 1-out to reach. Bennett, would swipe 2nd to get into scoring position with 2-out. Davenport, would drive in Bennett with an RBI double to make it 7-2.

Keener, would end the game by striking out Narvaez as the Dragons came away with the 7-2 win for their 13th straight victory.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 2-2 with 1 walk, 1 double, 1 single, 2 steals, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI (4 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 8 K on 80 pitches)

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

Kam Jenkins: 2 hit by pitch

Trace Ledbetter: 2-3 with 2 singles, and 1 run scored

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

Tyler Payne: 1-3 with 1 single, and 2 RBI

Christian Starks: 1-2 with 1 double, 1 hit by pitch, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI

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

Dawson Lowit: 1-1 with 1 ground rule double

Sam Dart: 1 run scored

JP Nunn: 1 run scored (2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 4 K on 32 pitches

Brodie Keener: 1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K on 30 pitches

 

Weather, again is playing a factor with scheduling as the game that was originally set for Thursday, April 11th, has been pushed up to Wednesday, April 10th. The series moves to Dahlonega with a first pitch time of 4:30 pm.

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 score 21 runs in series opener against Dawson

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Dawsonville, Ga — There was Monday Night Baseball on Monday, April 1st as the Pickens Dragons traveled to Dawsonville to take on the Dawson Tigers in game one of their 3-game series. Coming into the game, the Dragons, were ranked #2 in 3A, 18-3 overall, 11-1 in 7-AAA, and riding a 9-game win streak. The Tigers, came into the game ranked 7th in 3A, 14-6 overall, and 8-4 in 7-AAA. The Dragons, scored 9 runs in the second inning on the way to a 21-2 win.

 

In the top of the first, Tigers starter Chase Gravitt, got the Dragons in order with a ground out, a fly out, and a strikeout to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the frame, Jacson Rickett reached with a 1-out double. Julian Horner then reached to put runners at 1st and 2nd. Rickett and Horner, would then advance on a wild pitch. Elijah Odom, would bring in Rickett with an RBI ground out to make it 1-0 Tigers.

Davis Glass, would drive in Horner with a single to make it 2-0. Dragons starter Connor Shouse, would force a ground out for the 3rd out to send it to the second inning with Dawson leading Pickens, 2-0.

 

Kam Jenkins, got the top of the second started with a lead off single. Trace Ledbetter, would follow that up with a single of his own to put runners at 1st and 2nd. Dawson Holland, would then reach on an infield single to load the bases with nobody out. Tyler Payne, would draw a walk with the bases loaded and courtesy runner JP Nunn would come in to score to make it 2-1.

Christian Starks, would be hit with the first pitch he saw and Ledbetter would come in to tie the game at 2. A.J. Rice, would reach on an error, which would allow Holland to come in and score to give the Dragons a 3-2 lead. Shouse, would keep the line moving as he drove in pitch runner Coleman Keener and Starks with a 2-RBI single to make it 5-2. Rice, would come in to score to make it 6-2 after Trey Payne was thrown out on a dropped 3rd strike.

Jenkins, after starting the inning, came back up to bat with 2-outs. Jenkins, would get his 2nd hit of the frame as he sent one over the fence for a 2-run home run driving in Shouse and himself to make it 8-2. Ledbetter, in his 2nd at bat of the inning, hit his 2nd home run of the season to put the Dragons up 9-2. After Holland got hit with a pitch, the Tigers would finally get out of the inning to send it to the bottom of the second, Pickens leading Dawson, 9-2.

In the bottom of the second, Shouse, got the Tigers in order with 2 pop outs and a strikeout to send it to the third with Pickens leading Dawson, 9-2.

 

In the top of the third, Starks, would lead off with a single. After Rice flew out to right for the 1st out, Starks, would steal 2nd to get into scoring position. Shouse, would be hit with a pitch to put runners at 1st and 2nd with 1-out. Starks, would come around to score from 2nd after Trey Payne reached on an error. Shouse and Payne, would pull off a double steal to advance to 2nd and 3rd.

Cade Sutton, would drive in both Shouse and Payne with a double to make it 12-2. Sutton, would advance to 3rd after a ground out by Jenkins. Ledbetter, would reach base after being hit with a pitch to put runners on the corners with 1-out. Holland, would bring in Sutton with an RBI double to make it 13-2. A single by Tyler Payne would drive in both Ledbetter and Holland to make it 15-2 Dragons going to the bottom of the third.

In the bottom of the third, after two quick outs, Horner, kept the inning alive by drawing a walk. Odom, then reached on a single to put runners at 1st and 2nd. Horner and Odom would then advance to 2nd and 3rd after a wild pitch. The Tigers, would leave those runners stranded as Shouse would pick up a strikeout to send it to the fourth with Pickens leading Dawson, 15-2.

 

Rice, would lead off the top of the fourth by drawing a walk on a full count. Rice, would then advance to 2nd on a passed ball. After another passed ball, Rice, would find himself at 3rd. Trey Payne, would bring in Rice with an RBI ground out to make it 16-2 going to the bottom of the fourth. The bottom of the fourth was much like the previous inning as the Tigers were looking to get something going with 2-outs.

Trey Harvey, would draw a walk on a full count to reach base. Preston Bannister, would also reach base by drawing a walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd. Sawyer Bearden, would draw the 3rd walk of the inning on a full count to load the bases. Shouse, got out of the jam as Rickett flew out to center for the 3rd out. Going to the fifth, Pickens led Dawson, 16-2.

 

Kyle Grno, would come on to hit for the Dragons to lead off the top of the fifth and he would reach base on an error. Dylan Walls, would reach after a 1-out single to put runners at 1st and 2nd. A grounder by Sam Hammontree would advance both Grno and Walls to 2nd and 3rd with 2-outs. Starks, would draw a walk on a full count to load the bases. Rice, would also draw a walk to bring in Grno to make it 17-2 Dragons.

Shouse, would clear the bases after a grand slam to make it 21-2 Dragons. The Tigers, would get out of the fifth after a fly out. Going to the bottom of the fifth, Pickens led Dawson, 21-2. Tate Hales, came on in relief of Shouse in the bottom of the fifth. Hales, would toss a scoreless frame with 2 ground outs and a fly out as the Dragons would take game 1, 21-2 in 5 innings.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 2-4 with a single, a home run, 1 HBP, 1 steal, 3 runs scored, and 6 RBI (4 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 4 BB, 6 K, on 85 pitches)

Trey Payne: 1 steal, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI

Cade Sutton: 1-4 with 1 double, 1 run scored, and 2 RBI

Kam Jenkins: 2-3 with 1 single, 1 home run, 1 run scored, and 2 RBI

Trace Ledbetter: 2-3 with a single, a home run, 3 runs scored, and 1 RBI

Dawson Holland: 2-3 with 1 single, 1 double, 1 HBP, 2 runs scored, and 1 RBI

Tyler Payne: 1-2 with 1 single, 1 walk, and 3 RBI

Christian Starks: 1-2 with 1 single, 1 walk, 1 HBP, 3 runs scored, and 1 RBI

A.J. Rice: 2 walks, 3 runs scored, and 1 RBI

Dylan Walls: 1-1 with a single, and 1 run scored

Kyle Grno: 1 run scored

Coleman Keener: 1 run scored

JP Nunn: 1 run scored

Tate Hales: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, on 12 pitches

 

With the win, the Dragons run their win streak up to 10 games. The series will now shift over to Jasper as game 2 will be played at Dunn Field on Thursday, April 4th. First pitch time 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 pitching wows in doubleheader against Warriors

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was a gorgeous day to play two on Tuesday, March 12th as the Pickens Dragons hosted the White County Warriors for a doubleheader in 7-AAA action. Coming into the game, the Dragons were 9-3 overall, and 2-1 in region play. The Warriors, were 8-4 overall, and also 2-1 in region play. Dragons starters Connor Shouse and James Tilley, were masterful in both games as they both threw complete game shutouts in a pair of 4-0 wins.

 

Game 1:

Shouse, started game 1 of the doubleheader and he pitched beautifully. In the top of the first, Shouse fired a 1-2-3 inning on 9 pitches to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the frame, Trace Ledbetter reached base with a 1-out single. He would be left stranded and they would head to the second, tied at 0.

 

In the top of the second, Shouse picked up his 2nd and 3rd strikeout, as well as a ground out in a scoreless frame. The Dragons, would go down in order in the bottom half of the inning. Going to the top of the third, Pickens and White County were still tied at 0.

 

Shouse, threw another 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third as he tossed two more Ks and forced a grounder. In the bottom of the third, the Dragons, got back to back hits from Christian Starks and AJ Rice to start the frame. Rice, would then steal 2nd to put a pair of runners in scoring position. The Warriors, were able to get out of it with a ground out, a pop out, and a strikeout. Going to the fourth, Pickens and White County were still tied at 0.

 

In the top of the fourth, Shouse, tossed a scoreless inning on 8 pitches recording two strikeouts and a ground out. In the bottom of the fourth, Tyler Payne led off with a single. That would be all for the Dragons in the fourth however as they’d head to the fifth, tied at 0.

 

In the top of the fifth, Shouse, had a 9-pitch frame with a fly out and two more strikeouts to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom half of the fifth, Trey Payne would lead off with a single. Payne, would then advance to 3rd on a 2-base error by the catcher. Starks, would drive in Payne with an RBI single. Rice, would follow with a double. Shouse, would the hit a double down the left field line to score Starks and Rice.

After a sacrifice bunt from Ledbetter moved Shouse to 3rd, Cade Sutton would drive Shouse in with an RBI single to make it 4-0 Dragons going to the top of the sixth.

 

In the top of the sixth, on a 3-2 count, Shouse, threw what looked like strike 3, but it was called a ball for a lead off walk. Up until then Shouse had been perfect. The next batter would be hit by the first pitch. Shouse, would settle down and come back by striking out the side. In the bottom of the sixth, Starks, reached on a 2-out error. He would be left stranded at 2nd. Going to the seventh, Pickens led White County, 4-0.

 

In the top of the seventh, Shouse, finished off a complete game no hit shutout with two ground outs to Sutton and a fly out to Holland on three consecutive pitches as the Dragons took game 1 of the doubleheader, 4-0.

 

Stats for the Dragons in game 1:

Connor Shouse: 1-3 with a double, 2 RBI, 1 run scored & 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 12 K on 73 pitches

Trace Ledbetter: 1-2 with a single and a sacrifice bunt

Cade Sutton: 1-3 with a single and 1 RBI

Tyler Payne: 1-3 with a single

Trey Payne: 1-3 with a single and 1 run scored

Christian Starks: 2-3 with 2 singles, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored

AJ Rice: 2-3 with a single, a double, and 1 run scored

 

Game 2:

James Tilley started game 2 of the doubleheader for the Dragons and he tossed a heck of a game. In the top of the first, Tilley worked around a 1-out error to strikeout the side. In the bottom of the inning, Connor Shouse led off by reaching on an error. Shouse, would then steal 2nd to get into scoring position. Trace Ledbetter, would advance Shouse to 3rd on a grounder. After Cade Sutton reached on a fielder’s choice, Tyler Payne would bring in Shouse on a grounder.

After advancing to 3rd on the Payne ground out, Sutton, would come into score on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 Dragons going to the top of the second.

 

In the top of the second, Tilley would work around a lead off single as he struck out 2 and forced a fly out in a scoreless frame. The Dragons, would go down in order in the bottom of the second as they would go to the third with Pickens leading White County, 2-0.

 

In the top of the third, Tilley, threw a 1-2-3 inning as he got two pop outs and his 6th strikeout of the game. In the bottom half of the frame, AJ Rice, would lead off with a single. Shouse, would follow that up with a single as Rice would advance to 3rd. Shouse, would then steal 2nd to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. The Warriors, would turn a double play as Ledbetter would be thrown out on a dropped 3rd strike, and Rice would be thrown out trying to score.

Shouse, who never stopped running on the play, took 3rd, then had the presence of mind to go home as nobody was covering the plate. Going to the top of the fourth, Pickens led White County, 3-0.

 

In the top of the fourth, Tilley, struck out the side in-between a catchers interference ruling to bring his total up to 9 on the night. In the bottom of the inning, Kam Jenkins reached after a 1-out double. Trey Payne, would bring in Jenkins’ courtesy runner JP Nunn, with an RBI single to make it 4-0 Dragons going to the fifth.

 

In the top of the fifth, Tilley, got around a 1-out double to pick up his 10th strikeouts, a ground out, and a pop out to send it to the bottom of the frame. In the bottom of the fifth, Shouse, would lead off with a single. After the Warriors got Ledbetter to fly out to center, they forced an inning ending double play to send it to the sixth with Pickens leading, 4-0.

 

In the top of the sixth, Tilley, tossed another scoreless inning as he picked up his 11th and 12th strike out, a long with a fly out to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the sixth, the Dragons would go down in order on a ground out, a fly out, and a line out. Going to the seventh, Pickens led White County, 4-0.

 

In the top of the seventh, Tilley finished off a masterful start by striking out the side to give him 15 on the night. The Dragons, take game 2, 4-0, to sweep the doubleheader.

 

Stats for the Dragons in game 2:

Connor Shouse: 2-3 with 2 singles and 2 runs scored

Cade Sutton: 1 run scored

Kam Jenkins: 1-3 with a double

Trey Payne: 1-2 with a single and 1 RBI

AJ Rice: 1-2 with a single

JP Nunn: 1 run scored

James Tilley: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 15 K on 101 pitches

 

With the sweep of the doubleheader, the Dragons take the series from the White County Warriors. The third and final game of the series will be on Thursday, March 14th in Cleveland, Ga. First pitch set for 5:55 pm.

Dragons sweep doubleheader to open region play

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It’s time for region baseball in 7-AAA as the Pickens Dragons hosted the Wesleyan Wolves at Dunn Field on Wednesday, March 6th. The Dragons, were coming off a successful trip to Hoover, Alabama where they went 3-1 against some of the top teams in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. The 3-game series against the Wolves, was set to begin on Tuesday, March 5th, but the rain forced it to be moved to a doubleheader on Wednesday. The Dragons, used a good combination of hitting and pitching as the #2 team in AAA swept the doubleheader.

 

Game 1:

The Dragons, were classified as the “away” team for game one since these two teams didn’t get to play at Wesleyan on Tuesday. Cade Sutton, got on with a 2-out walk, but that would be it for Pickens in the top of the first. In the bottom of the inning, Dragons starter Connor Shouse, worked around a 2-out walk as he struck out two and forced a ground out to send it to the second with the score tied at 0.

 

In the top of the second, the Dragons would go down in order after a pair of ground outs and a pop out. In the bottom half of the frame, Shouse would pick up his 3rd strikeout. The inning ended when catcher Kam Jenkins threw out a runner attempting to steal 3rd. Going to the top of the third, the game was still scoreless.

 

To begin the third inning, Trey Payne was able to leg out an infield single for the Dragons first hit. AJ Rice, followed by drawing a walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd. On the very next pitch, Shouse, sent a screaming line drive home run over the left center field wall to put the Dragons up 3-0. Trace Ledbetter, followed that up with a double and Sutton reached with a single.

Dawson Holland, kept the train moving as he drove in pitch runner Sam Dart with an RBI single to make it 4-0. Christian Starks, would bring in Sutton with an RBI single to stretch the lead to 5-0. The Wolves, were able to get out of the top of the third with the Dragons leading, 5-0. After giving up a double and a single with 1-out, Shouse was able to get out of the inning with no damage done. Going to the fourth, Pickens led Wesleyan, 5-0.

 

The Dragons, worked a little 2-out magic in the top of the fourth as Ledbetter drew a walk, looking to start a rally. He would then advance all the way to 3rd as the catcher overthrew the first baseman trying to throw out Ledbetter. Sutton, added to his day as he drove in Ledbetter with an RBI single to make it 6-0. Shouse, threw a clean inning in the bottom of the fourth as he picked up a fly out, and his 7th and 8th K of the game. Going to the fifth, the Dragons led, 6-0.

 

Starks, started off the top of the fifth by drawing a walk. Jenkins, followed that up with a single. Tyler Payne, would then bring in Starks with an RBI single to make it 7-0. Later on, Ledbetter, would draw a bases loaded walk that brought in courtesy runner JP Nunn to make it 8-0 Dragons. The bottom of the fifth was another clean inning for Shouse as he picked up his 9th and 10th K’s of the game. Going to the sixth, Pickens led Wesleyan, 8-0.

 

Holland, began the sixth with a single to reach base. Jenkins, would then reach on an error as both he and Holland would advance on the play. James Tilley, would bring in Holland with a sacrifice fly RBI to make it 9-0. Tate Hales, came on in relief of Shouse in the bottom of the sixth and worked a scoreless frame to send it to the seventh with the Dragons leading, 9-0.

 

The Dragons, would go down in order in the top of the seventh after two ground outs and a fly out. Starks, came on in relief of Hales in the bottom of the seventh and he was able to close things out to give the Dragons the win in game 1, 9-0.

 

Stats for the Dragons in game 1:

Connor Shouse: 1-5 with a home run, 3 RBI, & 1 run scored (5 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 10 K on 76 pitches)

Trace Ledbetter: 1-3 with a double, 2 walks, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI

Cade Sutton: 2-3 with 2 singles, 1 walk, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI

Dawson Holland: 2-4 with 2 singles, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI

Christian Starks: 1-3 with 1 single, 1 walk, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, on 12 pitches)

Kam Jenkins: 1-3 with a single and a sacrifice bunt

Tyler Payne: 1-1 with 1 single, and 1 RBI

James Tilley: 1 RBI

Trey Payne: 1-3 with a single, a sacrifice bunt, and 1 run scored

AJ Rice: 2 walks, and 1 run scored

Sam Dart: 1 run scored

JP Nunn: 1 run scored

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

 

Game 2:

Game 2 began with James Tilley on the mound for the Dragons. After giving up back to back hits to start the first inning, he was able to pick up 2 k’s and a ground out to send it to the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the inning, Connor Shouse led off with a single. He then stole 2nd to get into scoring position. After a grounder by Trace Ledbetter, Shouse held up in a rundown long enough for Ledbetter to reach 2nd.

Dawson Holland, would drive in Ledbetter with an RBI double to make it 1-0. Christian Starks, followed that up with a single to put runners at the corners with 2 out. As Starks attempted to steal 2nd, the ball got through the infield which allowed Holland to score to make it 2-0. Kam Jenkins, would bring in Starks with an RBI single to make it 3-0 Dragons going to the second.

 

In the top of the second, Tilley, worked around a pair of hits to strikeout the side to send it to the bottom of the frame. In the bottom of the inning, the Dragons, would go down in order on 2 k’s and a fly out to send it to the third with the Dragons still leading the Wolves, 3-0.

 

In the top of the third, Tilley, had his first clean inning as he picked up his 6th K of the game and a pair of ground outs to keep Wesleyan scoreless. In the bottom of the third, the Dragons would go down 1-2-3 on two pop outs and a strikeout. Going to the fourth, the Dragons led the Wolves, 3-0.

 

In the top of the fourth, Tilley, worked around a hit and a stolen base to pick up a ground out, and his 7th and 8th K. The Dragons, would add to their lead in the bottom of the inning as Jenkins would reach on a single with 1-out. His courtesy runner, JP Nunn, would then steal 2nd to get into scoring position. Designated hitter Tyler Payne, would drive in Nunn with an RBI single to make it 4-0 Dragons going to the fifth.

 

In the top of the fifth, the Wolves would cut into the lead as they scored a run after three straight hits. Tilley, did a good job of limiting Wesleyan to only the one run as they headed to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the fifth, Shouse, led off with a single. After Shouse stole 2nd and 3rd, Ledbetter drove him in with an RBI double. Cade Sutton, would bring pitch runner Sam Dart in with an RBI single to make it 6-1 Dragons going to the sixth.

 

In the top of the sixth, the Wolves would once again cut into the lead as they would score a pair of runs on a couple of hits. Going to the bottom of the inning, Pickens now led Wesleyan, 6-3. In the bottom of the sixth, the Dragons would get back to back hits by Trey Payne and AJ Rice to pur runners at 1st and 2nd with 1-out. The Wolves, were able to get out of the jam with a double play to send it to the seventh with the Dragons leading, 6-3.

 

JP Nunn, came on to close it out in the top of the seventh and he would do just that. Nunn, sat the Wolves down in order on just 6 pitches to get the save and preserve the 6-3 win for the Dragons.

 

Stats for the Dragons in game 2:

Connor Shouse: 2-4 with 2 singles, 3 stolen bases, and 1 run scored

Trace Ledbetter: 1-3 with a double, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored

Cade Sutton: 1-3 with a single and 1 RBI

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

Christian Starks: 1-3 with a single, and 1 run scored

Kam Jenkins: 2-3 with 2 singles, and 1 RBI

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

Trey Payne: 1-3 with a single

AJ Rice: 1-3 with a single

Sam Dart: 1 run scored

James Tilley: 5 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 8 H, 9 K on 66 pitches

Brodie Keener: 1 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K on 25 pitches

JP Nunn: 1 run scored and 1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB on 6 pitches

 

With the sweep of the doubleheader the Dragons take their first 7-AAA series of the season. The 3-game set against Wesleyan will conclude with game 3 on Thursday, March 7th at Wesleyan. First pitch set for 5:55 pm.

Shouse, three other Dragons sign baseball scholarships

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — On Wednesday, February 7th, the Pickens Dragons baseball team saw four of its Seniors sign National Letters of Intent to further their academic and athletic careers as Connor Shouse, JP Nunn, James Tilley, and Brodie Keener all made it official and signed on the dotted line. The Dragons, are getting a lot of preseason love heading into the 2024 season and these four have played a role into why there are big expectations being set.

 

First up, RHP/INF Connor Shouse. Shouse, (pictured above), has been committed to Georgia Tech for a good while and finally made it official with the Yellow Jackets. Shouse, has been recognized as one of the top 10 players in the state of Georgia for the 2024 class. On the mound, Shouse uses a mix of pitches with his fastball hitting 95 mph, sometimes touching 98 mph. At the plate, Shouse, has the ability to hit the ball to all fields and to also drive it out of the park.

It would not be that surprising to hear Connor Shouse’s name called in mid July during the 2024 MLB Draft.

 

Next up, RHP JP Nunn. Nunn, committed to the Jacksonville State University Gamecocks back on November 10th of 2022 and officially signed with them on February 7th 2024. Nunn, who is a submarine pitcher, uses different angles with his pitches to get batters out. He holds the school record for career saves with 9 and will look to possibly add to that record during the 2024 season. As a Junior, he was named to the 7-AAA All-Region Honorable Mention team.

 

Next is RHP/INF James Tilley. Tilley, committed to Reinhardt University on November 29th, 2023 and officially signed with them on February 7th, 2024. Tilley, also uses a mix of pitches at deceiving speeds to get hitters out. At the plate, Tilley does a good job of working counts, drawing walks, and getting timely hits. In 2023, Tilley was named 7-AAA Co-Pitcher of the Year along with teammate AJ Rice, and a member of the All-State First Team. Tilley, is also on the 2024 Preseason All-State team.

 

Last, but certainly not least is LHP Brodie Keener. Keener, committed to the Middle Georgia State University Knights less than a month ago on January 13th. On February 7th, he signs with them. Being a lefty, Keener can use different angles on pitches that many hitters may not be used to seeing. He will have a big role out of the bullpen or being used for a spot start during the upcoming season.

 

Congratulations to all of these young men and their families on this incredible feat. You can catch these young men and the rest of the dragons as they host the Calhoun Yellow Jackets for a scrimmage on Thursday, February 8th. First pitch set for 5:30 pm. The 2024 season will officially open up on Monday, February 12th as the Dragons will host the LaFayette Ramblers. First pitch is also set for 5:30 pm.

Dragons season ends in Sweet 16

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was a beautiful, windy day on Monday, May 1st as the Pickens Dragons hosted the Gordon Lee Trojans at Dunn Field for the third game of their best of three series in the Sweet 16 of the GHSA 3A Baseball State Tournament. In the end, it would be the visitors getting the win as the Trojans came away with a 3-0 victory.

 

In the top of the first, Dragons starter A.J. Rice, had a clean start to the game with his 1st strikeout, a fly out, and a ground out. In the bottom of the first, Trey Payne would reach on a 2-out walk, but would be left stranded and they would head to the second with the score all knotted up at 0.

 

In the top of the second, after getting the 1st out on the first pitch of the inning, Rice, would give up back to back 1-out singles. Rice, worked out of that jam as he picked up his 2nd strikeout and a ground out to send it to the bottom of the frame. In the bottom of the second, Dawson Holland, would lead off with a single. He would advance to 2nd on the same play after an error to give the Dragons their first runner in scoring position.

A sacrifice bunt by Kam Jenkins, advanced Holland over to 3rd with only 1-out. The Trojans, were able to get out of their first jam of the game as they got a pop up and a fly out to center to keep Holland from scoring and send it to the third, still tied at 0.

 

In the top of the third, the Trojans, would get a 1-out triple to put a runner in scoring position. That runner would come in to score after a close play at the plate as the ball got by Jenkins, his throw to Rice was nearly in time for the tag. After a ground out to 3rd for the second out, the Trojans were looking to add to their lead as they reached with an error and a single. Rice, got out of the jam with just the 1 run to send it to the bottom of the inning.

In the bottom of the third, Colby Brooks led off with a single. Connor Shouse, would then reach on a fielder’s choice as Brooks would be thrown out at 2nd for the first out. Trace Ledbetter, would then draw a walk on four straight pitches to put runners at 1st and 2nd with 1-out. A line drive by Trey Payne looked to be falling in left center field, but a diving catch was made for the second out. Shouse, had to scramble back to 2nd to avoid being doubled up.

The Trojans, got out of the threat with a ground out to send it to the fourth with Gordon Lee Leading Pickens, 1-0.

 

In the top of the fourth, Rice, settled down after a 22-pitch third inning to get the Trojans in order with a fly out and 2 ground outs. In the bottom of the fourth, the Dragons, would also go down in order after a strikeout and 2 ground outs to send it to the fifth with the Trojans still leading, 1-0.

 

In the top of the fifth, Rice, needed 9 pitches for a 1-2-3 frame as he forced 2 pop ups and a fly out to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom half of the inning, the Dragons, again couldn’t get anything going as they went down in order after a fly out, a strikeout, and a ground out. Going to the sixth, the Trojans were still ahead, 1-0.

 

In the top of the sixth, the Trojans, led off with a double. Rice, would get the first out of the inning after his 3rd strikeout. Gordon Lee, added to their lead as they would score 2 runs on three straight hits to make it 3-0. Rice, did a good job of limiting the damage to just 2 runs as he picked up his 4th strikeout and a ground out to send it to the bottom of the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, the offensive woes continued for the Dragons as they went down in order with a fly out, a strikeout, and a ground out to send it to the seventh with the Trojans now leading, 3-0.

 

In the top of the seventh, JP Nunn, came on in relief of Rice to try to keep it a 3 run game. Nunn, worked around a 2-out walk as he got three fly outs in a scoreless top half of the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Holland, led off with a single as the Dragons had their first base runner since the third inning. After getting a fly out for the first out, the Trojans were able to turn a double play to secure the win, 3-0.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Trace Ledbetter: 1 walk

Trey Payne: 1 walk

Dawson Holland: 2-3 with 2 singles

Kam Jenkins: 1 sacrifice bunt

Colby Brooks: 1-2 with a single

A.J. Rice: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K on 93 pitches

JP Nunn: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB on 12 pitches

 

A historic and record setting season is now in the books for the Pickens Dragons baseball team. The 2023 team set a record for most wins in a season (29), the first region championship, most strikeouts in a season. There were several individual records broken as well as Junior Connor Shouse broke the single season and career RBI record. Junior JP Nunn, broke the career saves record.

The Dragons, will return a bulk of their team in 2024 as Seniors Colby Brooks, Evan Giddens, Tee Knight, and Harlan Will will move on to the next chapter in their lives. Three of them, Giddens, Knight, and Will, have committed to play baseball in college up till this point.

With a bulk of their team coming back next season, and the JV and Junior High teams having very successful season in their own right, the Dragons could be set up to keep this run going for a bit. We will see what the future holds next season. Until then, congrats to the Pickens Dragons on a fantastic 2023 season.

Dragons all over 7-AAA All-Region Team

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — After a stellar regular season that led to a 26-4 overall record and a 16-2 record in 7-AAA play that led to a region championship, the Pickens Dragons had players all over the 7-AAA All-Region teams.

 

Head coach Adam Williams, was named 7-AAA Coach of the Year after leading the Dragons to their first region championship in baseball. Freshman A.J. Rice and Junior James Tilley, were named Co-Pitchers of the Year.

Outfielders Dawson Holland and Trey Payne, were named to the All-Region 1st team. Junior Ga Tech commit Connor Shouse, was named to the All-Region Pitchers list. Senior outfielder Colby Brooks, was named to the All-Region 2nd team.

Senior Young Harris commit, infielder Evan Giddens, catcher Kam Jenkins, Junior Jacksonville State commit RHP JP Nunn, and first baseman Trace Ledbetter were named to the All-Region Honorable Mention team.

 

Below is the full list of the All-Region teams:

 

Congratulations to all of these young men for earning a spot on the All-Region teams!

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 pick up series win against Indians

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Dahlonega, Ga — The weather was touch and go, but the Pickens Dragons and the Lumpkin County Indians got the series finale in on Friday, April 14th. After the Indians took game 1 on Tuesday, the Dragons came back on Thursday to even up the series and to capture the 7-AAA region championship. In a game dominated by pitching, the Dragons got another great start from Freshman A.J. Rice as they won game 3, 2-1.

 

In the top of the first, Trey Payne, reached on a full count walk with 2-outs. Indians starter Alejandro Narvaez, got a fly out and 2 ground outs to send it to the bottom of the frame. In the bottom of the inning, Narvaez led off with a double. After a strikeout by Dragons starter A.J. Rice, Narvaez advanced to 3rd on a fly out to left. Narvaez, would be left stranded at 3rd as Rice picked up his 2nd K to send it to the second with the game still scoreless.

 

In the top of the second, Dawson Holland led off with a single. Holland, would advance all the way to 3rd as Kam Jenkins laid down a bunt and Narvaez overthrew 1st and allowed Jenkins to advance to 2nd. James Tilley, kept the line moving as he drove in Holland with an RBI single to make it 1-0. Senior Young Harris commit Evan Giddens, brought in courtesy runner Tee Knight with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 Dragons.

Colby Brooks, reached on a fielder’s choice as Tilley would be out at 2nd for the second out. Junior Ga Tech commit Connor Shouse, kept the inning alive with a double. Narvaez, would get out of the inning with just the 2 runs as they’d go to the bottom of the 2nd with the Dragons leading, 2-0. In the bottom of the second, the Indians loaded the bases with no one out after a lead off reach on error, a walk, and a hit by pitch.

The first out of the inning came when Rice got Dakota Bennett to ground into a fielder’s choice and Hayden Gilbert was thrown out at home. Rice, with the bases still loaded, picked up his 3rd and 4th strikeout to end the bottom of the 2nd and keep the Indians scoreless. Going to the top of the third, the Dragons led, 2-0.

 

In the top of the third, Tyler Payne, reached on a 1-out single. Holland, reached with a walk on 4 straight pitches. Jenkins, loaded the bases with a 1-out single. Narvaez, got Tilley to fly out to shallow right field for the 2nd out. A ground out to short ended the top of the third and the Dragons threat. In the bottom of the third, Adian Rogers, reached on a 2-out bunt single. He would be thrown out by Jenkins trying to steal 2nd to end the third.

Going to the fourth, the Dragons still maintained a 2-0 lead over the Indians.

 

In the top of the fourth, the Dragons got a 2-out single by Trace Ledbetter, but he would be left stranded as Narvaez got a line out to center for the final out of the top half of the fourth. In the bottom half of the fourth, Gilbert led off with a double. The Indians, would cut the Dragons lead in half as Mason Hester drove in Gilbert with an RBI double to make it 2-1.

Much like he’s done all season, Rice kept his cool and got back to back strikeouts to strand Hester and keep the Dragons ahead going to the fifth, 2-1.

 

In the top of the fifth, Narvaez picked up his first strikeout of the game and his first 1-2-3 inning of the game to send it to the bottom of the fifth. In the bottom of the inning, Narvaez, led off with a single. The Dragons, then turned a double play as Cooper Scott lined it to Giddens at 3rd and Giddens would toss it over to Ledbetter at 1st to get Narvaez. Rice, then got a fly out to right for the 3rd out to send it to the sixth with Pickens leading Lumpkin, 2-1.

 

In the top of the sixth, Narvaez, going over 100 pitches on the night, picked up his second straight 1-2-3 inning with his 2nd strikeout, a ground out, and a line out. In the bottom of the sixth, Rice, struck out the side for the 2nd time in the game to give him 10 on the night. Going to the seventh, the Dragons led it, 2-1.

 

In the top of the seventh, Scott, came on in relief of Narvaez and picked up where he left off as Scott got a pop up, a fly out, and a ground out to send it to the bottom of the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Junior Jacksonville State commit JP Nunn, came on in relief of Rice to try to pick up the save. Nunn, got a quick welcome to the game as Hester lined one right at him. Nunn, was able to catch the line drive for the first out.

Nunn, would go on to have a clean inning as he picked up a strikeout, and then a fly out to center as the birthday boy picked up the save and the Dragons got the win, 2-1.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 1-4 with a double

Trace Ledbetter: 1-4 with a single

Trey Payne: 1 walk

Tyler Payne: 1-2 with a single

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

Kam Jenkins: 1-3 with a single

Tee Knight: 1 run scored

James Tilley: 1-3 with a single and 1 RBI

Evan Giddens: 1 sacrifice fly

A.J. Rice: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 10 K on 91 pitches

JP Nunn: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K on 8 pitches

 

The Dragons, finish up region play having won every series and with a record of 16-2. Overall their record is 24-4 on the season. Pickens, will finish up the regular season with a pair of non-region games. First up, a date with the Shiloh Generals on the road on Wednesday, April 19th. First pitch is set for 5:30 pm.

Dragons open series with big win against Dawson

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — It was another beautiful day for high school baseball as the Pickens Dragons welcomed the Dawson Tigers to Dunn Field on Tuesday, March 4th for game 1 of 3 in 7-AAA. Coming into the game, the Dragons, were in 1st place in 7-AAA and had won 12 games in a row. For the Tigers, they came into the game in 3rd place in 7-AAA having taken 2 out of 3 from Lumpkin last week. The Dragons, got some great hitting and some clutch pitching down the stretch to take game 1, 5-3.

 

In the top of the first, Dragons starter Connor Shouse, sat the Tigers down in order with a fly out, a ground out, and a strikeout to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the frame, Shouse led off with a double. Trace Ledbetter, followed that up with a single. Trey Payne, brought in Shouse with the RBI ground out to make it 1-0 Dragons going to the second.

 

In the top of the second, Shouse got 2 quick outs with a pop up to 2nd and strikeout. The Tigers, got their first base runner of the game after being hit with a pitch. Shouse, got out of the top of the second on the very next pitch with a fly out to center. In the bottom of the second, James Tilley led off by drawing a walk. Christian Starks, then moved him over with a sacrifice bunt. Evan Giddens, drove in Tilley with a sacrifice fly RBI to make it 2-0 Dragons.

Colby Brooks, kept the inning going by reaching on a bunt single. He would then find himself in scoring position after stealing 2nd base. Tiger starter Trey Harvey, got out of the second as he induced a grounder to 3rd for the final out. Going to the third, the Dragons led the Tigers, 2-0.

 

In the top of the third, the Tigers picked up their first hit of the game with a 1-out single. After Shouse struck out his 4th batter of the game, the Tigers got another base runner after a hit by pitch. Shouse, picked up his 5th K of the game as he ended up striking out the side in the top of the third. In the bottom half of the inning, Trey Payne reached with a 1-out single. He then made it all the way to 3rd after a throwing error on a pick off attempt.

Tyler Payne, then brought in Trey Payne with the RBI ground out to make it 3-0 Dragons going to the top of the fourth.

 

In the top of the fourth, the Tigers led off with back to back singles. The 6th strikeout from Shouse was the first out of the inning. A wild pitch brought the Tigers first run of the game to make it 3-1 Dragons. A sacrifice fly RBI to center brought in the Tigers 2nd run of the inning to make it 3-2. The Dragons, got out of the inning with a ground out. Going to the bottom of the fourth, it was now 3-2 Dragons.

In the bottom of the fourth, Tilley led off by reaching on an error. Starks, followed that up by reaching on a single on the very next pitch. Giddens, laid down a great sacrifice bunt to move them over to 2nd and 3rd. Harvey, then got Brooks to pop out for the 2nd out. The Tigers, then chose to intentionally walk Shouse to load the bases. The Tigers, got out of the jam with a grounder to 1st. Going to the fifth, it was still 3-2 Dragons.

 

In the top of the fifth, the lead off man for the Tigers reached on a single. Shouse, who was still on the mound, forced a grounder that went to shortstop A.J. Rice, who took it himself to 2nd and then fired to 1st base for the double play. Shouse, then got a fly out to right on the next pitch to send it to the bottom of the frame. Trey Payne, led off the bottom of the fifth with his 2nd single of the game. The Tigers, then got a double play of their own for the 1st and 2nd out.

Kam Jenkins, kept the inning alive for the Dragons with a 2-out single. Tilley, drew his 2nd walk of the game to put runners at 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. The Tigers, got a grounder to 3rd for the third out of the frame. Going to the sixth, the Dragons were still holding on to a 3-2 lead.

 

In the top of the sixth, the Tigers had batters hit with back to back pitches to begin the inning. JP Nunn, then came on in relief of Shouse to try to keep the Dragons in the lead. Nunn, picked up a strikeout, then got a come backer and the out at 2nd for the second out, then a fly out to right for the 3rd out and to keep the lead intact for the Dragons. In the bottom of the sixth, Giddens, reached on a lead off full count walk.

Brooks, then moved Giddens over with a sacrifice bunt. Shouse, was then rung up on a pitch that looked to be outside for the 2nd out. Ledbetter, was then hit by a pitch to keep the inning alive. Tee Knight, then came in to run for Ledbetter and he and Giddens advanced after a passed ball. Trey Payne, came up with a massive hit for the Dragons as he drove in both Giddens and Knight with the 2-RBI single to make it 5-2 going to the seventh.

 

In the top of the seventh, the Tigers got their lead off man on with a single. After a long at bat, the Tigers picked up a walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd. The Tigers, followed those up with a single to load the bases with no outs. A grounder to 2nd led to a run scoring for Dawson making it 5-3. After Nunn picked up his 2nd K for the second out, the Tigers would again load the bases after a hit by pitch.

With the bases loaded, 2-outs, and his team up by 2 runs, Nunn locked in and picked up the 3rd and final out of the game with a strikeout on 3 pitches to preserve the 5-3 win for the Dragons.

 

Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 1-3 with a double, 1 walk, and 1 run scored & 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 HBP, 6 K on 77 pitches

Trace Ledbetter: 1-3 with a single, and 1 hit by pitch

Trey Payne: 3-4 with 3 singles, 3 RBI, and 1 run scored

Tyler Payne: 1 RBI

Kam Jenkins: 1-3 with a single

James Tilley: 2 walks and 1 run scored

Christian Starks: 1-2 with a single and a sacrifice bunt

Evan Giddens: sacrifice fly, sacrifice bunt, 1 walk, 1 RBI and 1 run scored

Colby Brooks: 1-2 with a single, and a sacrifice bunt

JP Nunn: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 3 K on 30 pitches

Tee Knight: 1 run scored

 

The Dragons, will be back on the ball field on Wednesday, April 5th as they head to Dawsonville to take on the Dawson Tigers in game 2 of the series. First pitch is set for 5:55 pm.

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