The Morgan County Diamond Dogs are coming around and playing some sound baseball as they continue to work their way through the Region schedule. At 7-1, they are two full games ahead of Franklin County in second place at 5-3. The Dogs also have the decided edge over the Lions after taking a 3-0 sweep in that series last week. With the 8-AAA schedule a little over the halfway mark, MOCO can pretty much determine their own destiny by winning a couple of series down the stretch.
The first two games of the Monroe series didn’t go well for the Canes as Morgan’s starters shutout the opponents in both games with a 19-0 rout along with a 9-0 shellacking in the double header last Friday.
In the first game of the evening in Monroe, the Dogs had everything going, especially at the plate. Ethan Stamps led the way going 2-3 that included five RBI’s on a single, homerun, and a bases-loaded walk. The Dogs got multiple hits off the bats of Lane, Stamps (3-5), Jaron Ferguson, and Blake Silvey as they went 12-27 from the plate. MOCO drew nine walks while only striking out five times. Hunter Lane went the distance tossing a shutout complete game to get the win. The senior went four innings before the mercy-rule was applied, striking out three and allowing only one hit while not walking a batter.
The Dogs broke things wide open in the second inning when they exploded for eight runs with six different hitters accounting for RBI’s. Silvey, Brandyn Batchelor, Lane, Stamps, AJ Stinnett, and Grant Cofer got big hits to get the party started in the blowout.
Jacob Anderson came on in game two and finished what Lane had started in the opener by pitching another complete game for the Dogs while allowing only two hits. He was masterful with his pitches striking out 10 while not walking a single hitter.
The second inning was where the Dogs got most of their offensive damage with runs scoring off hits by Bryson Burke (2), Stamps, and Trey Patterson. Lane
Merritt Ainslie noted, “We got some strong pitching performances from our starters (Lane and Anderson) to move up in the standings to take the number one spot.”
The Dogs played Monroe Area in the final game of the series Tuesday, but results were not in at press time. They will go up against Athens Christian at home on March 28 before starting their three-game season series with an important double-header against the Hart County Bulldogs on Friday.