Cherokee Bluff had its six-game winning streak snapped Tuesday evening, when the Bears fell 2-0 to Dawson County at home. Dylan Kautz kept Cherokee Bluff (14-5, 6-2 Region 7-3A) in the game from the mound, throwing 11 strikeouts in 6 ⅔ innings and allowing just one run, but the Bears’ bats struggled all night and failed to generate any offense.
“We just didn’t do a good job putting the ball in play,” Cherokee Bluff coach Jeremy Kemp said. “We didn’t have a good two-strike approach at all, hitting the ball in the air instead of lying it on the ground. Popups, lazy popups. So tip your hat to (Dawson County pitcher Trey) Harvey. He pitched a great game.”
Both teams left a couple runners on base in the first two innings, but the Tigers broke through in the third when a runner scored following an errant throw to third.
Kautz went on to retire 10 of the next 11 Dawson County batters and keep the Tigers from adding to the lead, but the Bears could not supply the required offense to get back ahead. Cherokee Bluff got runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth, but other than that never threatened to tie or take the lead.
“They just did a good job keeping us off balance,” Kemp said.
The loss ties the series between the teams at 1-1, with the decisive Game 3 to be played at 5:55 p.m. on Friday in Dawsonville.