Baseball is here!
Varsity begins season with tough losses
By Nick Nunn
After suffering a heartbreaking 5-6 loss to Apalachee High School last Friday in a preseason scrimmage match, the Diamond Dogs lost their first regular season game 2-3 to the Clarke Central Gladiators on Monday night.
Apalachee took a one-run lead in the first inning, which was unanswered by the Dogs until the third inning, when Sawyer Hill hit an RBI line drive into right field, scoring Clayton Gasaway from third base.
Ross Kirkpatrick earned an RBI in the fourth inning to bring Morgan County ahead 2-1, but Apalachee tied the game again in the bottom of the sixth inning.
In the seventh inning, with the score tied at 2-2, the dam broke open – for both teams.
Morgan County batters managed to score three runs on two singles and two doubles in the top of the seventh, leaving them only the bottom of the seventh to defend in order to hold onto the lead.
Unfortunately, Apalachee’s bats came alive in the bottom of the seventh against Andrew Couch, who was pitching the inning for Morgan County. Three doubles, a single, and a fielding error gave Apalachee the four runs they needed to pull forward and win the game 6-5.
“Our defense was solid throughout the game, but we had a few breakdowns in the bottom of the 7th which cost us the game,” said head coach Brandon Patch. “The scrimmage is about getting our pitchers some work in a game situation and seeing live pitching. I felt like we were able to evaluate a good many aspects of our game.”
In the game against Clarke Central on Monday, the first regulation game of the season, Couch blasted a double into left field in the top of the first inning, scoring Morgan County’s first two runs of the regular season.
The Dogs held onto the lead until the fourth inning when Clarke Central tied the score 2-2.
Through the first four innings, Clark Owen pitched a nice game for the Dogs, racking up nine strikeouts while only walking two batters and allowing only one earned run.
In the fifth inning, Owen was replaced by Brantley Frost, who struck four batters out and walked one runner but allowed what would prove to be the Gladiator’s winning run in the top of the fifth.
Despite loading the bases in the top of the sixth inning, the Dogs were not able to get a run in to tie the score before the game ended in the seventh, losing 2-3 to the Gladiators.
“The Clarke Central game was a very competitive game,” said Patch. “Clarke's pitcher, Patrick Matthews, was very good for them...we just didn't quite swing the bats enough against Clarke's ace.”
The MCHS baseball program has several games in the coming week beginning today, Thursday, Feb. 21: the varsity baseball team plays Rockdale at home today at 5:55 while the JV squad travels to Rockdale for their game. Friday, the varsity team will play Social Circle away at 5:30, and, Monday at 5:55, varsity will play Clark Central at home. Next Tuesday, JV plays at home at 5:55, and the C team will play next Wednesday at home at 5 p.m.
Printed in the February 21, 2013 edition