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Big innings doom East Hall against region foe Dawson County in doubleheader
Tigers' pitchers deliver complete-game victories
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Big innings and a pair of complete games for opposing Dawson County doomed East Hall to back-to-back defeats Friday night at East Hall Park.

The Vikings (9-8, 3-6 7-AAA) fell 13-5 in the first game and 6-2 in the second.

In the first game, errors were everywhere as the two teams combined for 10.

“They gave us a few extra base runners and we gave them a few,” said East Hall coach Wesley Crow. “Ours seemed to come back and haunt us a little more than it did them. It seemed like ours came at real bad moments.”

East Hall was able to get on the board first as starting pitcher Jonah Crocker reached on a ground-rule double on the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning.

Eli Stuart moved Crocker to third before an errant throw on a ball put in play by Jesse Cooper scored the run.

The Tigers (12-2, 6-0) failed to score in the second. East Hall took advantage and added another run in the bottom of the frame.

Levi Crocker led off with a single and stole second before a ground ball moved him to third. After the groundball, Mike Matuska reached second on an error on the center fielder. Crocker scored on the play.

The fourth inning proved to be enough to put the Tigers in front for good as they rattled off four hits and capitalized on an error to score five runs.

The Vikings cut the lead to one in the bottom of the fourth as Matuska and J.B. Banks were able to score.

Dawson went on to score three in the fifth, three in the sixth and two in the seventh. East Hall notched its final run in the fifth inning as Cooper was brought around to score after leading off with a walk.

Palmer Sapp pitched a complete seven innings with five strikeouts for the Tigers. Sapp allowed six hits, five runs and three walks in the performance.

Offensively, East Hall stranded nine runners in Game 1.

In the second game, the Vikings left five runners on as Connor Bearden delivered another complete game for Dawson County.

Bearden gave up just three hits in the contest while striking out five.

All three hits for the Vikings came in the fourth inning, where they scored their only two runs of the contest as Jonah Crocker and Luke Cooper were brought across the plate.

The Tigers scored a run in both the fifth and sixth innings to take the game into the seventh tied.

In the top of the seventh, Dawson County sent all nine batters to the plate and scored four runs to solidify the game.

Crow said the Vikings are just having “that type of week” where things aren’t coming together. In Tuesday’s matchup in Dawson County, East Hall left 14 runners on base, making the total 28 for the series.

“It just kind of seems like we can’t sustain anything,” Crow said. “We can’t get over the hump and punch runs across when we need to. Give credit to their pitching staff who made pitches when they needed to get outs. We’ve got to find a way to get those runs across.”

According to Crow, the losses likely leave the Vikings in the fourth or fifth slot in the region rankings with the top four moving on to the state playoffs.

With three weeks of region play left, Crow said his squad still controls its own destiny, but “we’ve got to play better.”

“(We need to work on) just a little bit of everything (to get in the top four),” Crow said. “We need better at-bats with runners in scoring position. We’ve got to be a little more aggressive in certain situations.”

Next up, the Vikings will host Lumpkin County at 5:55 p.m. Tuesday. The Tigers, who locked up second place in the region Friday night, will travel to region-leading Franklin County Tuesday.

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