Janet Schrader, Democrat Reporter
It was another "W" for the Suwannee Bulldog baseball team. The Dogs faced the Taylor County Bulldogs and beat them 6-3, Tuesday March 18 in Perry.
According to Head Baseball Coach Ron Gray, Taylor is always a great game for Suwannee. The Bulldogs have won the last 10 games against Perry, and all but three of those games were decided by only one run.
"They have good players and get after us pretty good every time," Gray said.
Suwannee looked invincible after the first inning of play. Brad Davis, Suwannee's lead-off pitcher, struck out Taylor's first three batters in a row. Then the Bulldog bats opened up on Taylor in the first inning, scoring 4 runs.
"Pitching set the tone and led the way as Brad Davis struck out the side in the first and carried a 5-3 lead into the sixth inning where he was relieved by Don Wainwright. After Wainwright worked a perfect frame, Wade Skinner came in to close and picked up his second save of the season," Gray said.
Lead-off hitter Tyler Chambliss smacked a double off the right field wall to get things rolling. Andrew Bass was hit by the pitcher. Rheed Baldwin hit a ground ball to shortstop which forced Bass out, but Chambliss advanced to third. Clint Hale singled to score Chambliss. Garrett Brown walked to load the bases for the Dogs.
Don Wainwright went in to run for Brown. Jon Marerro singled to score Baldwin and Hale. Brad Davis walked to load the bases again. Wade Skinner hit a sacrifice fly to score Wainwright. At the end of the inning it was 4-0 Suwannee. The Dogs got 3 hits, 1 HBP, 2 walks and 4 runs in the first inning. Taylor was reeling.
Davis surrendered a homerun to start off the second inning, then retired the batters in order after that.
The score remained 4-1 until Suwannee got up to bat in the third inning.
Hale walked to start things off. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Marerro singled to score Hale.
Suwannee was up 5-1 until the fifth inning when Davis surrendered a two-run homer. Davis regrouped and retired the side in order after that.
In the bottom of the fifth, Hale walked and advanced to second on a balk. Hale moved to third on a ground out by Brown. Marerro grounded to second but made it to first on an error by the Taylor second baseman and Hale scored to give Suwannee it's sixth run. After five innings the score was 6-3 Suwannee.
Don Wainwright pitched the sixth for Suwannee. Wainwright struck two batters out in the sixth.
Wade Skinner pitched for Suwannee in the seventh to secure the victory for the Dogs. Skinner earned the save striking one batter out. The final score was 6-3 Bulldogs.
"We are playing well and showing some consistency in each area of the game," Gray said. "But the biggest part of the season and the post season are still ahead of us. We need to stay focused and hungry and understand that if we don't, we can get humbled real quick."
Brad Davis pitched five innings, gave up three hits, 1 walk, 3 runs, 1 walk and struck out seven. Don Wainwright pitched one inning, gave up no hits, no walks, no runs and struck out two. Wade Skinner pitched one inning, gave up no hits, no walks, no runs and struck out one.
Suwannee's great season has not gone unnoticed. Suwannee is currently rated third in Class-3A in the state. The Dogs take on Keystone at home Thursday, March 27 in a district match. Action begins at 7 p.m. Come out and watch this undefeated Bulldog baseball team. Go Dogs!
Janet Schrader may be reached by calling 1/386/362-1734 ext. 132 or by e-mail at email@example.com.