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Bulldogg baseball opens season with a walk-off win

POSTED: February 19, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Zac Taylor/Barrow County News

Bulldogg Cole Baggett threw 100 pitches in a complete game victory over Madison County.

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Hunter Jackson singled home pinch-runner Pike Lynn with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday night to give the Winder-Barrow baseball team a 1-0 victory over Madison County in the season opener for both schools.

The game was played before a pretty large crowd at the Charles W. Maddox Baseball/Softball Complex in decent weather for a February game, especially considering the recent weather conditions.

Junior Cole Baggett threw a four-hit shutout for the Bulldoggs, striking out seven, walking two and throwing an even 100 pitches.

Winder-Barrow had unofficially opened its season Monday evening when it traveled to Grayson for a scrimmage game at the Rams’ home field and lost 12-8.

The Bulldoggs are scheduled to travel to Evans, Ga., near Augusta this weekend for their annual Diamond Days tournament.

The Doggs are scheduled to play Lakeside-Evans Friday at 6:30 p.m.

They will play Effingham County Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and host Evans at 12:30 p.m.

Asked whether he had any reservations about Baggett throwing a complete game in the season opener, Winder-Barrow coach Brian Smith said, "We had a backup plan, but Cole’s such a competitor that he wanted to finish the game."

Talking about Monday night’s scrimmage game, which had originally been scheduled for last Saturday, Smith was very pleased about the pitching of senior Christian Hodge, who has been the Doggs’ starting catcher for the past two seasons.

"I was surprised at how well he pitched," said Smith. "He hasn’t done much pitching since he was a freshman (because he was always catching), but he may end up as one of our top pitchers.

"Since we have a very good backup catcher in Aaron Gonzalez, Christian will probably be called on to take the mound."

Winder-Barrow, which had seven hits in Tuesday’s game, had runners in scoring position in five of the innings prior to the deciding seventh.

Andrew Seeley, the No. 9 hitter for the Bulldoggs, started the seventh with his second hit of the game off eventual losing pitcher Nick Alewine.

Lynn was called on to pinch run and was sacrificed to second by Alex Childers before Jackson singled sharply to left to chase Lynn home.

Madison County leftfielder Zeke Smallwood did not field the ball cleanly, so no play was made on Lynn.

Shortstop Bailey Hawkins had two singles and a walk for the Bulldoggs, while Childers and Hodge had the other Winder-Barrow hits.

Gonzalez was safe on error ahead of Hawkins’ walk in the second, but he was left stranded.

In the third, Jackson lived on an error with two outs and went to second when Baggett struck out but made it safely to first when the third strike sailed over the catcher’s head. He, too, was left on base in scoring position.

Hawkins beat out an infield hit in the fourth and stole second, but he, too, was left stranded.

Childers singled with one out in the fifth, took second on a wild pitch in the dirt and made it to third on Jackson’s groundout to second.

But Baggett struck out, leaving Childers at third.

Beau Hannah lived on an error in the sixth and took second on Hawkins’ second single, but Tony Matos struck out to end the inning and left still another runner in scoring position.

Baggett pitched out of some scoring situations of his own in the game, stranding runners at second in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth, but he retired the side in order in the seventh.

The Doggs return home March 1 to face Tift.

 

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