Morgan County Middle School Diamond Dogs split with Hart County

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The Morgan County Middle School baseball team came up with a win and a loss against the Hart County Bulldogs last week.  The opener saw MOCO falling 11-6 before rebounding in the nightcap to take an 11-4 win.  Head Coach Mike Campbell is in his second year at the helm of the Morgan County Middle School baseball program.

In game one the orange and black Bulldogs struck in their first at-bat by scoring two runs after the first two batters went down on weak ground balls.  Shortstop Jack Harper and third baseman Key Malone made quick work of the grounders and Will Blalock made a nice scoop at first on a short-hop throw.  The next batter singled and an error followed that could have ended the inning.  Hart’s catcher promptly tripled to deep center to score the first two runs of the contest for the 2-0 lead.

The Bulldogs answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning after the first two batters went down swinging.  Blalock got hit by a pitch and scored on a double that one-hopped into the left centerfield fence by Noah Young.  Two errors later and a single by Brendan Conway put another run on the board to knot the score at 2-2.

Starting pitcher, Conway, had a three-up-and-three-down second inning in Hart’s next at-bat getting two fly balls for outs before striking out the final batter.  The Dogs got a runner to second in the bottom of the frame when leadoff man Harper singled and stole second.

However, the next two batters struck out to end the inning against the big lefty on the mound for Hart.  It would be the fifth before the Dogs would score again.

The visitors got a go-ahead run in the third.  A walk started the inning, but the next two batters hit weak fly balls to short and Ethan Mizell playing left field.  A passed ball and two errors followed (one mental) that allowed the runner to scamper in for the 3-2 lead.  Ben Coody came on in relief in the top of the fourth after two men reached base for Hart on a single and hit batsman.

He struck out two of the batters he faced, but a fielder’s choice, passed ball and walk allowed the two runners to score two unearned runs to take a 5-2 advantage.

Hart scored two more insurance runs in the fifth before Morgan could make a dent in the 7-2 lead.  With one out in the fifth, Blalock singled up the middle and moved to second on another hit by Young (2-4 on the day).  An error moved the runners up to load the bases when pinch hitter Harrison Peaster got the big hit of the inning.  His single led to two RBI’s and Morgan was in business trailing 7-4 and only one out.  Hart pulled off a nice 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and get out of the jam.  It was a rally killer.

The opposing Dogs got three runs in the sixth, but only one was earned as two Morgan errors proved to be their undoing.  It was 10-4 at that point, but the dugout was alive as MOCO tried to put together some hits.  A single by Conway got things going with one out.  Two errors later the Dogs had scored a run and had runners at first and second before Hart’s relief pitcher struck out the remaining two batters and the side.  The score was 10-5 going into the final stanza.

The seventh ended with both sides getting a run.  Matt Malcolm led off the inning with a single to right field.  A Hart error, a fielder’s choice by Mason Jackson, and a sacrifice by Al Edwards pushed Malcolm across the plate for the final run of the 11-6 loss.

The Dogs came back strong in the second game of the double header winning 11-4.  Details of that game were unavailable.

The next game for the Bullpups will be Friday, Mar. 2 at 4:30 vs. Jackson County in an away contest.  See the sports schedule in this issue for all upcoming Bulldog sporting events.

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