The tough times continued for Pike County Thursday, as the Bulldogs fell to Dale County 16-2 in area play.
“The hit the ball, and we didn’t,” said PCHS head coach Nathan Fordham. “They made plays, and we didn’t. That’s about as simple as I can put it.”
The Warriors took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning, and never trailed after that.
That score held until the bottom of the fourth, when Pike County loaded the bases with one out.
Blake Mauldin struck out to record the second out, sending Azriel Larkin to the plate.
Larkin singled home a run to cut the lead to 3-1, but Ethan Shirah was thrown out at the plate trying to score to end the inning.
The Bulldogs would not threaten again.
The inning-ending play seemed to energize the Warriors, as they exploded for six runs in the top of the fifth inning to push the lead to 9-1. The big blow of that inning was a two-run double off the bat of Devan Dykes.
PCHS committed three errors in the inning, which continued a trend the Bulldogs have suffered through this season.
“We just haven’t been making the routine plays,” Fordham said. “That’s something that has to be done if we’re going to succeed as a baseball team.”
DCHS then put the game away in the sixth, scoring seven runs, including a grand slam off the bat of Justin Woodham.
Woodham also pitched the first five innings for the Warriors, holding Pike County to two runs on six hits.
After the game, Fordham said his team might have suffered mentally more than mechanically at the plate.
“The one thing we had been doing coming into today was scoring runs, but I think we have some guys who are putting too much pressure on themselves,” Fordham said.
“Baseball is a game where you have to be relaxed, especially at the plate.”
Pike County’s second run came in the bottom of the fifth, when Martinez Larkin hit a solo home run to center field. Larkin finished with two of the Bulldogs’ seven hits.
Following the loss, Pike County now has two weeks before its next area game April 1 against Headland, time Fordham said the team will use to work hard at improving.
“We’re going to work on everything,” Fordham said.
“We’re going to take a lot of ground balls, and we’re going to hit a lot of pitching.”
PCHS will be back in action March 25 on the road against Elba.