By R. Alan Richardson
After taking down Banks County 10-0 on Thursday, the Diamond Dogs ended their season in a much closer game with Social Circle 4-2 on Friday. The final two games of the regular season give the Bulldogs an overall record of 24-6 along with a region best 10-2. Both games were played on the road with Hunter Lane picking up another win Thursday. Trey Patterson also ripped a long-ball over the left field fence estimated at 330 feet.
Friday’s contest put the Dogs on one of the nicest fields you will ever see. Social Circle should be applauded for the immaculate infield and outfield grass that was manicured to a tee. The infield dirt was some of the finest you will see on any high school field. They’ve spent a lot of time, money, and energy on this project.
Morgan was hot to begin the contest getting three runs in the first. Most of the damage came off the bat of Ethan Stamps who burned the right fielder for a double with Jaron Ferguson and Hunter Lane (both reached on walks) on for two early runs. Later in the inning, pinch runner Keirreon Farley scored when Grant Cofer got the RBI on an infield grounder. It was good that Morgan got the early runs and the lead. After giving up one big hit in the first, Social Circle pitcher, Chandler Ball, proceeded to sit down 15 straight Dog hitters before he was pulled in the fifth after three strikeouts, a ton of weak grounders, and several popups.
Starting pitcher, Stamps, pitched well for four innings. The freshman was strong giving up no runs, striking out three, walking two, and giving up only one hit. Relief pitcher, Dalton Cole, pitched the fifth striking out two in one inning of work and giving up one unearned run. Jacob Anderson pitched the sixth and seventh innings. The sophomore settled in after a few nerves on the mound and pitched his way out of a jam after a communication error around the mound caused an easy popup to hit the turf. Anderson struck out the final batter twice. After an umpiring missed call on a down-the-pipe third strike, he came back to get the hitter swinging for the final out of the inning. In the seventh, Anderson only faced four hitters and struck out the final batter of the game.
The Redskins closed the gap to 3-1 in the fifth, but the Dogs added one more insurance run in the sixth. Ferguson started the inning with a single before Lane sacrificed him to second on a perfect bunt that he almost beat out. Dakota Young then used his speed for an infield hit that scored Ferguson. The Circle added another run in the bottom of the inning for the final score of 4-2.
Morgan will now focus on the State Playoffs. The first series is scheduled for April 28 and 29 at home against Calhoun out of Region 6-AAA. It will be a two out of three… weekend for Morgan with a doubleheader on Friday. The Saturday game will only be played if the two teams are tied 1-1 after Friday. Should the Dogs take this one they will again host the second round May 4 and 5 against the winner of Peach County and Brantley County. Get out there and support this great team this weekend. This is one of the best we’ve seen at MCHS.