Prep Baseball: Bulldogs rally to beat Camels, 15-5
Once Thomasville figured out how to get the ball across the plate, there was not much that Atkins could do against the much-improved Bulldogs.
Reliever Nathan Adams came in during the second inning, retiring all 10 batters he faced to help THS rally back for a 15-5 win in five innings Monday at Finch Field. The mercy rule is something the Bulldogs have become familiar with as they have been the victim of it numerous times over the past few years. First-year head coach David House enjoyed having it happen in their dugout for a change.
“That would be awesome to be the norm,” he said. “It is always good to get a 10-run rule and get a chance to play everybody. Now we got to go back to work and get ready for South Davidson on Wednesday.”
Thomasville had to battle through some early inning struggles before getting to the mercy rule.
THS had walked six batters in 1 2/3 innings, allowing the Camels to take a 5-3 lead. Once Adams trotted in from the bullpen down the right field line, it all started to come together for the Bulldogs.
With Atkins still threatening in the second inning with a man on second, Adams got Jacob Privette to fly out to right and end the frame.
Though the Bulldogs came up empty in the home half, the third inning would be a profitable one that turned a tight contest into a rout. After the Camels went down in order, THS posted nine runs while sending 13 men to the plate.
Two errors put men on first and second with one out. Adams stepped up to the plate and had a chance to help himself out. Atkins gave some assistance. His grounder to the mound was fielded by Jacob Underwood. In preparing a throw to first, Underwood slipped a bit and fired high over the head of first baseman Nigel McEachern. The overthrow went well up the first base line, giving Skyler Barnes and Zack Anderson plenty of time to round the bases and score. Adams wound up at third and a couple of pitches later, came rushing home on a wild pitch for the go-ahead run.
Thomasville continued to add runs thanks to errors and aggressive base running. Barnes would get an RBI single in his second trip to the dish of the inning, and Felix Fernandez laced a double to left that scored two more. When the dust settled on the inning, the Bulldogs had themselves a healthy lead of 12-5.
“We are a long way away from where we want to be hitting the ball, but one thing that helped us tonight is we can run the bases,” House said. “We are going to put pressure on the defense, and if we do that, we have a chance to be successful.”
Though only striking out one, Adams continued to set down Camels. He was perfect over the next two innings, setting up a chance for THS to end the night early.
“Pitching is our biggest concern with so many young guys pitching,” said House. “We have talked all year that if we can throw strikes, we have the chance to be a pretty decent ball team. You saw our defense make good plays.”
The Bulldogs picked up another run in the fourth when John Hubbard doubled to center and came in on a sacrifice fly by Ike Marsh.
In the fifth, the Bulldogs never had to take the bat off their shoulders. Five straight walks brought home the final two runs needed for the game to be called.
Anderson paced the Bulldogs with a 2-for-3 effort that included two runs batted in. Barnes added three runs scored and James Bethea had four stolen bases.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.