By R. Alan Richardson
The Diamond Dogs had a tough week losing three to the now second place Hart County Bulldogs in the region 8-AAA standings. Morgan got rained out on Tuesday after 4 1/3 innings with the game tied at 2-2. Austin Hale hit a two-run bomb to tie the score, but five innings are required for a complete game. The Dogs went back to Hart on Wednesday and started over from scratch losing 4-2 to start the week. The Dogs still have a chance at making the state playoffs but will need some help from other teams.
Friday’s doubleheader started poorly for the Dogs with Hart County scoring two runs in the first inning without getting a hit. Wild pitches and walks caused most of the damage. Morgan answered back in the first with a run of their own after Austin Rapier was hit by a pitch, Hunter Lane singled into left field, and Hale hit a sacrifice fly to center for the RBI that scored Rapier.
Hart got another run in the second on three singles and a walk. The score stayed 3-1 until the sixth when the visiting Bulldogs added three more runs to take a 6-1 advantage. The Dogs tried to fight back with a single run in the bottom of the sixth when Sam Couch scored after being hit by a pitch and an error by the third baseman. Hart scored two more runs in the seventh and that’s where it ended at 8-2.
The second game of the double header ended with MOCO again on the short end losing 3-0. Hart was again able to come up with a run in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Our Bulldogs came up with a couple of threats to score in the third and sixth innings, but could never get runners across the plate.
Hart score another single run in the third, but were aided again by errors and walks from the Diamond Dogs. Lane and Jaron Ferguson pitched well but were plagued on the night giving up only three hits over seven innings. The final run of the game for Hart came in the sixth after one out, a walk, and an error by Morgan. The ensuing batter ripped a single for the final 3-0 loss for the Dogs.
Head Coach Merritt Ainslie said, “I hated that the first game of the week was cancelled. We were in a good position to win that game when the bottom fell out. We started Couch in the first game on Friday because he had good velocity, but when we got behind 2-0 we just couldn’t catch up. In the second game of the double header, Hunter (Lane) came back after throwing 59 pitches on Tuesday and did a great job for us. He and Jaron (Ferguson), who came on in relief, only gave up three hits in the 3-0 loss. I keep telling the guys that we still have a shot!”