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Bulldogs start region play 3-0
By RUSSELL TURNER – Dispatch Editor
Perry Central’s baseball team has experienced some growing pains this season as inexperienced players tried to find their way on the diamond. That has led the Bulldogs to post a 7-10 record so far this season.
But, Coach Ryan Jackson had hoped to have his team playing at a higher level when region play got underway. And, while Jackson still isn’t content with his team’s overall level of play, the Bulldogs have won four in a row and are off to a 3-0 start in region play after a convincing win over East Marion Thursday night in New Augusta.
“Our pitching and defense have led us to these last several wins,” Jackson said. “This was a big game for us and the win puts us in a position to finish in the top half of the region.”
“Freshman Tyler Pierce did a great job for us tonight.”
The freshman was solid on the mound for the Bulldogs against the visitors from Foxworth. He had seven strikeouts, compared to just a single walk, but also pitched to contact and let his defense get the job done behind him. The plan worked as Pierce needed just 81 pitches over six and a third innings to earn the win. He allowed just two hits and only one earned run. Junior Brett Robnett relieved Pierce on the mound in the top of the seventh and got the final two outs.
Offensively, junior Paul James and sophomore Caden Tally led the way for the Bulldogs. Each had a run scored and two RBIs in the win. Senior Connor Rutherford, who has been on a tear at the plate during the Bulldogs current win streak, was 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored. Freshman Kaden Bolton was also 2-for-3 for PCHS with a run scored and a RBI.
While the momentum is building for the Bulldogs, the biggest test lie ahead with a couple of key region series left on the schedule.
“We have a big series next week with St. Patrick.” Jackson said. “That will be a big challenge as they have several experienced arms that know how to pitch. If we want to compete and have a shot against them we are going to have to show up focused and have good approaches at the plate. “
The Bulldogs will travel to Biloxi on Tuesday and host St. Patrick on Friday. They follow that series with a big one against North Forrest the following week.