Diamond Dogs fall in region tourney
By Greg Sullivan
The Diamond Dogs weren't able to knock off the north sub-region's top team on Friday in Blue Ridge, losing two close games to the top-seeded Fannin County Rebels eliminating the Dogs from the region tournament and any chance at a state bid.
"Both games in the Fannin series were extremely tight and could have gone either way," said Diamond Dogs Head Coach Brandon Patch. "We had one inning in each of the games where we didn't make plays defensively and that was the real difference."
Despite the loss, Patch said there were some things he saw that he liked in the series.
"I was pleased offensively with our hitting and base running, but it just wasn't quite enough," Patch said. "At this point we want to thank the seniors for all of their hard work and congratulate them for having a nice run."
The Dogs were edged in game one of a double-header in a best of three series on Friday, 10-9.
Caleb Duvall got the start for the Dogs, pitching two innings. Kyle Burden came on in relief and gave the team four innings of solid work, Patch said.
The Dogs had some strong offensive production for the game.
Tyler Ward went 1-3 with two RBI in the game, Caleb Duvall went 2-2 with an RBI and his cousin Clay Duvall went 3-4 with two RBI and two steals. Parker Cline, Bobby Patrick and Dylan Jaskowiak all added an RBI.
The Dogs' season was ended in the second game of the double-header when they fell 12-8.
Clay Duvall pitched the first four innings of the game. While Olin Watkins, Jaskowiak and Cline came on in relief.
Patrick had a big game for the Dogs, going 4-4 with three RBI and a run scored. Josh Blackburn went 2-3 with an RBI, Ward went 3-4 with an RBI and a steal, J.D. Hawkins went 2-5 and Clay Duvall added an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
After being in contention for second place in the final weeks of the regular season the Diamond Dogs dropped some games. They fell to Oglethorpe 11-1 on April 15, North Oconee on April 18, 13-1, and to Monroe 11-9 on April 21 in 10 innings.
The team did, however, knock off Putnam in a double header on April 17 to secure which solidified their fourth place finish in the sub-region, behind wins from Caleb Duvall and Watkins.
The team finished up their year with a 9-14 overall record.
Patch said his underclassmen will participate in a summer baseball program which consists of weeknight doubleheaders and weekend tournaments during the month of June, as they work to prepare for next season.