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Bulldogs pop Poets, 11-6

Sports Editor

BRUNDIDGE – As frustrated as Pike County head baseball coach Fred Holland gets during an actual baseball game, he admits that, overall, he’s pleased with the play of his "youngest team ever" as the Bulldogs prepare to start their area schedule on Monday in Luverne.

14 games into the season, Pike County is 8-6 following Wednesday’s 11-6 win over 6A Sidney Lanier. By no means a dominant performance by a baseball team, but two games above .500 isn’t too bad for a starting unit composed of one junior, three sophomores, four freshmen and an eighth grader.

"We’re still coming along, but we’re playing okay," said Holland. "The games we’ve been in will help us come area time."

Pitching-wise, the Bulldogs aren’t overwhelming, but their performance at the plate has helped overcome any trouble on the mound. Holland got contributions from both the top, the middle, and the bottom of the order on Wednesday as the Bulldogs used a two-hit second inning to build a four-run lead, 5-1. Dee Price capped off a five-run fourth for Pike County with a sacrifice fly into center field, pushing the Bulldogs out in front of the Poets, 10-1.

"We’re hitting the ball well, but we have a tendency to want to jack the ball every time we step up to the plate," said Holland. "I also wish we’d get more hits when we had runners in scoring position."

After allowing three hits and a run in the top of the first, Price settled down to scatter five hits over the final six innings of play against Sidney Lanier and earn the win. Five runs scored for the Poets in their last three at-bats, with just two earned.

In the bottom of the first Joshua Daniel tied the game up with a RBI basehit into left field, following Chris Bell’s lead-off single. Price and Lonzo Foster were walked to start the Bulldogs’ half of the second and David Fiveash reached on a poorly fielded bunt by the Poets. Bell singled to score two runners and D. J. Cannon blooped a hit into right field to single in a run as well.

Chris Nickson got on first base in the fourth, courtesy of a Lanier error, stole two straight bases on pitches to his follow-up batter Cannon, and then came home for a run on a wild pitch. Cannon and both Joshua and Elijah Daniel were walked and Rodney Lee’s two RBI single over second base put Pike County on top, 9-1.

Bell was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Pike County, while Joshua Daniel was also 2-for-4 with a runner scoring. Lee had a single hit and two RBIs.

The Bulldogs host Kinston at noon on Friday for a doubleheader. Game time for Monday’s game in Luverne is at 4:30 p.m.