By Nick Nunn staff writer

Last week, the Morgan County High School (MCHS) JV Diamond Dogs extended their perfect season record to 8-0 by beating the Alcovy Tigers, Rockdale County Bulldogs, and North Oconee Titans “The boys have played solid baseball the first half of the season,” said MCHS JV Baseball Head Coach Doug Connelly.

On Monday, March 10, the JV Dogs took on North Oconee in Bogart, winning their matchup against the Titans 10-2. Both Morgan County and North Oconee earned single runs in the first inning, but the Dogs were able to break into the lead in the second with an additional four runs for a 5-1 lead.

Coach Connelly praised the “strong pitching performances” by Maclane Zant and Ben Meier. “The two Morgan hurlers combined to allow six hits while only allowing one Titan a free pass,” said Connelly. Justin Miner went 3-4 at the plate and earned three RBIs with a three-run homer in the fifth inning. Ben Meier also reached base three times during the game, earning two RBIs and scoring three runs. The Dogs took on Rockdale County the next day, March 11, at home.

Morgan County limited Rockdale to only two runs while scoring 12 runs for the win. Rockdale County earned their runs, the first of the game, in the top of the second inning, but the Dogs were then able to shut them down for the remainder of the game.

Morgan County “erupted” in the third and fourth innings, scoring nine runs to take a commanding lead, which they would continue to build for the 12-2 victory. “Justin Miner remained red hot at the plate with a 2-4 performance that included two doubles, three RBIs, and two runs scored,” said Connelly.

“Chad Haynes also had a big night with a 3-4 performance at the plate with three RBIs.” The 10-7 win over the Alcovy Tigers last Thursday, March 13, tipped the JV Dogs’ record to 8-0 for the 2014 season. The Dogs trailed 2-3 after the first three innings, but Morgan County had a characteristic burst of offensive output in the fourth inning to score an additional seven runs.

Miner pitched the first five and one-third innings of the game, giving up only three runs before encountering some trouble in the sixth inning, when the Tigers were able to mount a small comeback.

Meier then came in to pitch the remaining one and two-thirds inning for the save. “The Bulldogs played solid defense throughout the contest, making a lone error,” said Coach Connelly. “Third baseman Dalton Cole and shortstop Austin Rapier had each made great defensive plays with turning in five assists.”

“We have gotten great pitching,” said Connelly of the first half of the season as a whole. “Our pitchers have had great command and have been forcing our opponents to earn everything. The defense has been solid as well.

The boys have been making the routine plays and it’s paying off in terms of wins.” “Offensively, we’ve had pretty good situational hitting that has allowed us to take advantage of our opponents’ mistakes.” The JV Dogs will continue to seek an extension of their perfect record this week with a game against Banks County today, March 20, at home at 5:55 p.m. Next Tuesday, the Dogs will take on Newton County at home and will travel to play against Commerce on Wednesday, March 26, with both games beginning at 5:55 p.m.