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April 18, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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Page 4B April 18, 20182 orter I By Richard Dumas forsyth@mymcr.net After a heartbreaking 4-3 home loss in 11 innings to region rival Upson-Lee on Monday night, the Mary Persons baseball team will have to win its final two regular season games as well as get some additional help in order to qualify for the AAAA state playoffs for the second straight year. Despite battling back. , from deficits twice in flae latter innings, MP was undone by its ongoing defensive woes, mak- ing five errors that led to three unearned runs in its one-run loss. MP's poor defense squandered outstanding pitching out- ings by the Dogs' top two pitchers, starter Alex Kite and reliever Trippe Moore, who took the hard-luck loss. Kite threw six innings, yielding just six hits and two runs, one earned while walking two and striking out nine. Moore then came on in relief in a tie game and pitched the final five innings, giving up four hits and two runs, both un- earned, while walking none and striking out five. MP was next scheduled to play at Upson-Lee in Game 2 of the three-game set at 5:55 p.m. on Wednes- day. The Bulldogs will then host the Knights in Game 3 at 5:55 p.m. on Friday night in the Dogs' regular season finale. MP will honor its seniors in a ceremony prior to Friday's contest. At 17- 11 overall (6- 7 in Region 2-AAAA), MP currently sits two games behind second-place Upson- Lee, 13-12 overall (8-5 in Heating & MC, Inc. i We Service All Brands of Heating & Air Conditioning Units Sewing Monroe County & Surrounding Areas for over 40 years Free Estimates Financing Available Jullette Rd. Forsyth, GA 478-994-6127 Ga.Reg, CU 401419 turn to the CITY OF FORSYTH Region 2-AAAA), and one game back of Perry and Spalding, who are tied for third at %6 in region play. The Panthers and Jaguars have two more head-to- head meetings this week as well. The Bulldogs would control the head-to-head tiebreaker over Spalding as well as Upson-Lee (if MP wins its last two) while losing the head-to-head breaker with Perry. In an intense pitchers' duel on Monday; Upson- Lees Alex Blount was Kite's equal, hurling seven quality innings, yielding eight hits and three runs, all earned, while walking three and striking out five utiliz- ing a devastating outside curveball against righty hitters. Trace Park came on in relief of Blount and was even better, pitching the final four innings without fgaiVing up a hit or a run. In ct, MP had just one bas- .A. Mary Persons sophomore designated hitter Jeramiah Andrews slides in safely to second during an 8-2 home loss at Perry-~ on Wednesday. Andrews, who moved up to third in the lineup last week, had three walks in MP's 4-3 home loss in 11 in- ;" nings to Upson-Lee on Monday. (Photo/Kim Holderfield) c. erunner in the extra frames second base, the Knights Mocks sacrifice fly. against Park, a ninth inning had runners on second and In extra innings, neither walkby Jeramiah Andrews, third with no outs. Upson- team really threatened while Park, who recorded Lees Gabe Pollard then hit until the top of the 1 lth the win, struck out three a slow roller to MP third when Blount, who had Bulldogs. baseman Aaron Mock, but a one-out single to right Three Bulldogs had two Mock threw wildly home that was mishandled by hits apiece to lead the way for another error, allow- righfielder Buckner, scored offensively. Leadoff man ing Park to cross home what turned out to be the Cam Agnew had a big plate for the first run. The winning run on a critical night, going 2-6 at the plate next hitter, Keeter, then error by MP second base- while knocking in MP'S hit a slow ground ball to man Richards. Richards first run in the bottom second, but Gamble slid dropped the ball while try- of the third inning on an home headfirst underneath ing to get it out of his glove infield single. Agnew also the tag of MP catcherand throw to first on a scored the tying run in the Knight after a throw home sharply hit ball by Maddox, bottom of the seventh on from second baseman J.D. enabling Blount to score an outstanding feet.first Richards. Kite then avoided from third with two outs. slide on a sac fly to right- a catastrophic inning by MP head coach Clae field off the bat of Aaron wriggling out eta bases- Mathis said he wasn't Mock Christian Knight loaded jam with no outs, pleased with his team's lack also had a 2-4 night for the getting a pair of key strike- of offensive production in Bulldogs while Ladondre outs MP answered back in extra innings against Park. Buckner went 2-5, includ- the bottom of the inning Mathis said, "We ing a second-inning double on Agnew's RBI infield hit scrapped. We played well. off of the leftfield wall. Four to pull to within 2-1, and We did a good job of com- Upson-Lee batters, Chance the game stayed that way ing back when it mattered. Gamble, Joshua Keeter, until the bottom of the The only problem is we Logan Spivey and Blount, . sixth when MP tied .it up went to sleep for four in- each had two hits to lead on Richards' two-out RBI nings when all we had to the Knights. single to center that scored do was score one more and After having three run- :pinch runner Donovanthe game was over. We had ners stranded in scoring Hogan. some pretty bad at-bats position in the first two ,However, Upson-Lee against that second pitcher. innings, Upson-Lee got would storm right back on the scoreboard first on in top of the seventh Monday with some help with a pair of singles off of from MP's beleaguered defense. Upson-Lee's Park drew a walk to start the top of the third inning. Gamble then reached on an error by MP shortstop Austin Mock, and after stealing 109D PaVol Road 478-994-9911 apply and manage )our account online www.lffc.com UPDATES Total estimateOdginal estimated cost $4,600,000 for each project Water & Sewer $3,220,000 Upgrades City Park $285,000 Improvements Road $550,000 Improvements Public Safety $470,000 Vehicles 2017 Downtown $75,000 Beautification second and third a couple of times tonight that we left them there too. You've got to play as a team, win and lose as a team. I'm not going to blame the defense for it, but it stinks because we hit the ball better than Upson-Lee did tonight. We hit it better than them, and to be honest I thought we pitched better than them. We just didn't play defense better than them" Three nights earlier, on Friday, MP snapped a five- game skid with a much- needed 7-0 shutout win at Perry to salvage one vic- tory in the Best-of-3 series. Watson was the standout, the top of the first offofMPv starter Moore before ex- ploding for five runs in the" top of the second inning. Perry's Andrew Newhouse " started the big inning with , an RBI single, followed by "- an RBI groundnut by John .- Micah Law. A ground-rule double to left-center off they'll bat of Jacob Hunt plated ' U. another run, and then two q more crossed home plate on a two-run single to left by Clayton Davis. MP got one run back in the bottom of the third when Moore scored on an error, but Perry extended its lead to 8-1 in the top of . the sixth on back-to-back ' pitching a seven-inning, ground rule doubles by i' complete-game gem, Beau Bryant and Hunt, yielding just seven hits and respectively, followed by aft" striking out nine batters error by Agnew. MP then " while walking two. Meanwhile, MP'S quiet bats erupted for 13 hits, including three each by the brother duo of Austin Mock and Aaron Mock as well as Jeramiah An- drews, who was moved up to third in MP's slumping got its biggest highlight of the game in the bet- tom of the seventh when senior Buckner cranked i his second home run of ~' the season on a high drive ' to left-center for the 8-2 final margin. Perry's Justin Eckman pitched a seven- I thought he was a guy lineup. Austin Mock had a inning complete game, [ that we were going to get team-high three RBIs while giving up just four hits and on him pretty quick Its Andrews, Aaron Mock and two runs, one earned, whil~I Moore by Turner Maddox disappointing. We've got to Knight had one RBI each. walking four and striking ",;i and Gamble, respectively, win the next two. That's the MP led 1-0 through four out six. , with Maddox coming only choice we've got now." innings on Friday before Also, the Monroe Coun 'i, Middle School baseball " around to score from sec- ond after MP centerfielder Conner Watson mis- handled Gamble's base hit. With their backs against the figurative wall, the Bulldogs made an unlikely rally in the bottom of the seventh as Agnew who had a one-out single, eventu- ally crossed home plate on Mathis said MP's errors on Monday were symp- tomatic of issues the Bull- dogs have had defensively all year, but he dedined to assign blame to any one aspect. He said, "Defense has been the worst part of our game at times, but'again there were runners on erupting for three in the top of the fifth and three more in the top of the sev- enth to seal the comfort- able victory. The win came two nights after MP was pounded 8-2 at home in Game 2 on WedneSday against the Panthers. Perry scored one run in team was scheduled to host I#' Upson-Lee Middle at 4:30. i p.m. on Tuesday in the ' area semifinals. If Monroe County wins, the Bulldogs would likely travel to Gray; Station for the area chain- : pionship at 4:30 plmion" :'. Thursday 4D MP BOYS Continued from Front lined up for penalty kicks. Spalding missed its first shot wide right, while Alex Rivera nailed his shot just under the bar to give MP an early advantage. The Jags bounced their second PK offthe pipe leaving the SPLOSTS PROJECTS Expenditures 2017 Revenue $16,512.75 $420,575.56 $39,855.30 $136,728.80 $63,226.47 $57,267.68 $26,148.00 $11,453.46 Bulldogs with the chance to take command. But Dawson Daniel's shot was saved by the Jag keeper. So Spalding had the chance to tie it up on its next shot but keeper Brock Hulsey dove left and knocked the ball away. Julian Rivera slid his ensuing shot in the left corner and MP led 2-0 with two shots left for each team. Spalding finally scored on its next shot in the left " corner, but then MP's Wil- liam Atkins had the chance to seal it for the ,Bulldogs. He rolled his sho calmly to the left corner and MP erupted in celebration at 10 p.m. on a Friday night. Spalding fell to 7-7-2 over- all, 5-5 in region, as they try to hold onto the fourth and final playoff spot in the region Coach Allen Luton said they work on PKs a lot in practice and it paid o~ Luton said he was pleased overall with their play against Spalding, noting that the Jags are better than their record with six one- goal losses. "It was a good win for us;' said Luton. Luton not6d it shows the strength of the region that they've only lost three games and yet are No. 3 in the region. He said he hopes that helps in the playoffs. On Tuesday, April 10 the boys struggled for a bit against a pugnacious How- ard team that is winless in the region before pulling away for a 4-2 win. Howard took a 1-0 lead in the first half off a penalty kick before an Alex Rivera goal tied it at 1-1. Howard would regain the lead 2-1 line to the Howard keeper box and then drilled a left footed missile into the back of the net to tie it at 2. At last the Bulldogs had someq; momentum agmnst haples Howard. Jacob Anthony struck next to give MP its first lead at 3-2, and then Wil- 7. liam Atkins put the cherry '" on top to make it 4-2. With the chance to get a :7 lone region victory slipping' away, the Huskies got pret-'I ty chippy in the last five ' minutes, drawing several "; yellow cards. On one occa-] sion senior Jacob Anthony'S' was streaking to the end /' line when he was assaulted by a Howard defender with whom he had been jawing" most of the game. The two after scoring in the second ' players got in one another's" half. faces and then the Howard: Then sophomore striker keeper got in Anthony's Julian Rivera, whom Luton grill before the referees ';' had moved momentarily pulled everyone apart and to defender, appeared to began issuing yenow cards. '. have had efiough. Rivera Howard fell to 4-9, 0-8 in:" dribbled from the back region :-