Varsity Dogs 3-1 in region after facing Jackson, East Jackson

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By Nick Nunn staff writer

After just a little more than a week of 8-AAA region play, the Morgan County High School (MCHS) varsity Diamond Dogs are sitting on a 3-1 region record. The Dogs began 2014 region play with a 7-0 shutout over East Jackson last Monday, March 24, and followed up with a 11-2 win against East Jackson on Wednesday. Last Friday, the Dogs also beat the Jackson County Panthers 4-1.

On Monday night, the Dogs fell to Jackson County 2-7 for their first region loss of the year The Dogs spread their runs out during the 7-0 shutout over the East Jackson Eagles. Brantley Frost drove in the first Morgan County run with an RBI single in the first inning, and, in the second inning, Clarke Owen and Ross Kirkpatrick were able to tack on two additional runs to put the Dogs ahead 3-0.

The Dogs’ bats were relatively quiet until the fifth inning, when Cody Harper and Sam Couch gave the team another two insurance runs. Morgan County’s final runs of the game came in the sixth inning with an RBI by Sawyer Hill, who then scored on an error to make the score 7-0. Clarke Owen pitched the first six innings of the game for the Dogs, allowing only three hits and a single walk while striking out three East Jackson batters. Max Wadsworth took the mound for the seventh inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced. The Dogs traveled to East Jackson last Wednesday, March 26, to play their second game against the Eagles. Clark Owen’s RBI-double in the first gave the Dogs a temporary lead, but the Eagles were able to tie the score in the bottom of the first inning of the game.

East Jackson then took the lead in the bottom of the third inning with a single run, but their lead proved to be short-lived, when Morgan County retaliated with five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Brantley Frost, Eli Zimmerman, Sawyer Hill, and Sam Couch each racked up RBIs in the fourth inning for the Dogs, while a fifth run came in on an East Jackson error.

Stunned by the sudden onset of offensive output by the Dogs, East Jackson was unable to create any momentum fort the rest of the game. With a 6-2 lead, the Dogs’ bats then returned in the sixth inning to put up an additional four runs. Three of the runs scored due to wild pitches, and Sam Couch was able to earn his second RBI of the game. The Dogs earned their final run of the game in the top of the seventh with an RBI by Austin Rapier to make the score 11-2.

Frost pitched the first six innings of the game, allowing no earned runs and only two hits. Last Friday, the Dogs were again on the road, facing their second region opponent of the year, the Jackson County Panthers. Morgan County wasn’t able to gain any offensive traction until the top of the third inning, when Clark Owen drove in a run with an RBI single. A second Morgan County run came in on an error, to give the Dogs a 2-0 lead. Jackson County scored their first and only run of the game in the bottom of the third, but the sole run wasn’t enough to take the lead from Morgan County. The Dogs brought in an extra insurance run in the fourth when Sawyer Hill earned an RBI with a sacrifice bunt.

Morgan County’s final runs scored in the fifth inning on an error by the Panther’s pitcher, giving the Dogs a 4-1 run that they would maintain until the end of the game. Max Wadsworth pitched a complete game against Jackson County, allowing no earned runs and only three hits during seven innings of work. Wadsworth struck out seven batters while only walking one.

The Dogs fell to Jackson County Monday night for their first region loss of the 2014 season. Morgan County fell behind in late innings, and RBIs by Cody Harper and Jon Milledge Wells in the fifth inning weren’t enough to catch the Dogs up with the Panthers. The Dogs faced off against Oconee County on Wednesday. Tomorrow, April 4, Morgan County will play against Oconee County in Watkinsville at 5:55 p.m. Next Monday, the Dogs will travel to Hart County to face the Bulldogs, who will then come to Morgan County on Wednesday, April 9, for their second matchup of the year.

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