Valdosta Daily Times

March 27, 2013

Georgia Christian beats Highland

Christian Malone
The Valdosta Daily Times

DASHER — Georgia Christian’s baseball team earned a region win on Tuesday, defeating Highland Christian 13-3 in six innings.

The Generals pounded out 12 hits, scored runs in five of the six innings and got solid pitching from Dillon Greene and Quinton Carter on Tuesday. With the win, they improved to 2-1 in GISA Region 3-A.

“I’m proud of these guys,” Georgia Christian head coach Donald Dawkins said. “I’m pleased with how the boys responded today, after yesterday’s (loss to Open Bible). That’s what we’ve got to do. ... We’re in the thick of the race for the region title. We’ve just got to take it one game at a time, take care of ourselves and things will fall where they will.”

Eight of the Generals’ nine starters scored at least one run on Tuesday, and five different players drove in runs.

“We had production up and down the order,” Dawkins said. “We got a hit when we needed it, we took advantage of a couple of errors and we took advantage of some base on balls.”

Highland Christian took an early 1-0 lead with a run in the top of the first. Ryan Dobson led off the game with a walk, and scored on an error two batters later.

But the Eagles’ lead was short-lived, because Georgia Christian answered with two runs in the bottom of the first. Kyle Watkins reached on an error with two outs, stole second and went to third on a double steal with C.J. Lynch (who had walked). Then Greene lined a double over the right fielder’s head, and Watkins and Lynch came home to give the Generals a 2-1 lead.

Georgia Christian added to its lead in the second. Dalton Harrington started the inning with a walk, stole second and third and came home on Ethan Boyd’s single to right. Cole Copeland singled to left and ran to second when the left fielder didn’t field the ball cleanly. Cole Seasholtz laid down a bunt, and Boyd ran home to score. Two batters, later, Copeland scored on Watkins’ infield single, giving the Generals a 5-1 lead.

The Generals put three more runs on the board in the third. With one out, Walker Davis reached on an infield single, then tried to steal second. The catcher’s throw went into center field, and Davis kept running. He rounded third, headed home and scored without a throw. After Boyd and Copeland singled with two outs, Seasholtz drove them in with a single to left center, extending Georgia Christian’s lead to 8-1.

Highland Christian scored twice in the top of the fifth. Trey Yates walked to start the inning, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and ran home on a passed ball. Thomas Cook walked, and took second on the wild pitch that scored Yates. Then when Cook tried to steal third, the throw hit him in the back and went into left field. Cook ran home to score, cutting Georgia Christian’s lead to 8-3.

But the Generals came right back with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Copeland led off with a single to right, stole second and third and came home on a wild pitch. Seasholtz walked, stole second, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch, making the score 10-3. Carter and Watkins drew walks, then executed a double steal, putting runners on second and third. After a strikeout, Greene singled to left, and Carter and Watkins scored to give the Generals a 12-3 lead.

Georgia Christian ended the game with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Christian Moore started the inning with a walk, then Boyd re-entered the game and stole second and third. Three batters later, Carter lined a single to right, and Boyd ran home to give the Generals a 13-3 lead and end the game, due to the mercy rule.

Greene was the winning pitcher. He allowed three runs and two hits in four-plus innings, while striking out seven. He also went 2 for 4 at the plate and drove in four runs.

Carter pitched two shutout innings in relief.

“We pitched well today,” Dawkins said. “We got good pitching out of Dillon Greene today. It was his first-ever start. He threw a bunch of strikes, got a few strikeouts. He walked a couple, but that was expected. I’m really proud of the job that Dillon did on the mound. He came in and gave us a shot in the arm of what we needed today. And Quinton came in and threw strikes for us the last two innings.”

Boyd and Copeland batted eighth and ninth, respectively, in Georgia Christian’s lineup, but they were two of the Generals’ most productive hitters on Tuesday. Copeland went 3 for 3, stole three bases and scored three runs. Boyd went 2 for 3 with an RBI, two stolen bases and three runs scored.

“They were doing their job of just getting on base,” Dawkins said.

Seasholtz drove in three runs. Watkins scored two runs and also drove in a run.

Casey Conn and Jontae Leggett had hits for Highland.