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Diamond Dogs shut out Razorbacks in doubleheader

April 09, 2021 - 00:00
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  • Article Image Alt Text
    Luke Knight (No. 9) drills the ball to left field for a single versus Cross Creek on April 2. PHILLIP B. HUBBARD/Staff
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Brendan Conway (No. 12) winds up to pitch the ball in game 2 versus Cross Creek. PHILLIP B. HUBBARD/Staff

It was a slow start for the Morgan County offense Friday night at Tracy Brown Field. In the first four innings of their doubleheader versus Cross Creek, the Bulldogs looked out of sync.

Then the fifth inning came around. The Bulldogs brought six runners across the plate on two hits. And that seemed to provide a spark that separated Morgan County from its opponent.

Carrying over to the second game of the night, Morgan County never had a scoreless inning.

Head coach Merritt Ainslie recognized his two team captains as the catalysts behind the offensive outbreak.

“Michael Tamasi and Michael Arienzo got the team together and said ‘guys this thing needs quickly,’” Ainslie said. “‘Let’s make the pitcher work, hit the fastball, and work the count in our favor.’ It really started with those two guys.”

Morgan County won the first game of the doubleheader 9-0. It completed the season sweep of the Razorbacks in game two by winning 15-0 in three innings.

Though the offense scored 24 total runs between the two contests, it received huge assists from the solid outings by both starting pitchers.

In game one, Sam Schofield took the mound. He kept the Razorbacks’ offense in check, not allowing many baserunners and recording a few strikeouts.

Game two featured Brendan Conway on the mound. His three innings of work ended with five strikeouts, two walks while only surrendering one hit.

Both wins give the Bulldogs six total shutout wins in the 2021 season.

In such wins, Morgan County has averaged more than 15 runs per game.

Last Friday’s wins gave the entire Morgan County baseball team a huge lift moving forward into the season.

Ainslie highlighted that these two wins put Morgan County in the driver’s seat for playoffs.

“This puts us at 12-0 in the region, 17-4 overall,” Ainslie explained. “So, we control our own destiny. Our team is really starting to develop a good team chemistry. They’re playing loose, they like each other and they’re enjoying the camaraderie of being teammates.”

Up next for the Bulldogs, they travel to Savannah for a weekend trip. The Bulldogs are scheduled to face Ware County on Thursday, Benedictine on Friday and conclude the weekend facing Calvary Day on Saturday.

With these games being against non-region opponents, Ainslie said he hopes the trip brings his team closer together.

“The same team that gets on the bus to go down there is not the same team that comes back,” Ainslie said. “There’s something about staying overnight that brings the group even closer together.”