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PHS Baseball continues amazing season with three game sweep of Dawson

Impressive pitching and timely hitting key to matchup

Team poised for state tourney

            The Pickens baseball team continued to roll along last week with a key Region 7-AAA three-game sweep over the Dawson Tigers. By doing so, the Dragons assured themselves a place in the GHSA state playoffs beginning in late April. In addition, Pickens has positioned itself to host a minimum of one series with the possibility of hosting multiple rounds.

            With the sweep, the Dragons pushed their school-record win streak to 15-consecutive games and upped their program record for most wins in a season to a 22-3 overall record and a 14-1 mark in region play.

            Pickens and Dawson locked up for three consecutive nights last week due to a forecast of heavy rain late in the week. The altered schedule didn’t seem to bother the Dragons as they continued to flash impressive pitching and timely hitting to take the first game of the series, 5-3. Junior pitcher Connor Shouse upped his record to 7-1 on the season by pitching five innings while scattering four hits and two runs and striking out six. Junior J.P. Nunn pitched the final two innings with three strikeouts to earn his fourth save of the season. Junior outfielder Trey Payne led the offense with three hits and a run scored while also knocking in three runs.

            The Dragons traveled to Dawson for the series’ second game and the offense stepped to the forefront in the 7-3 victory. Pickens banged out 11 hits on the night as freshman A.J. Rice blasted a pair of doubles on the way to three hits, three runs scored and two driven in. Sophomore outfielder Dawson Holland and senior second baseman Evan Giddens each had two hits and a run scored while senior designated hitter Harlan Will got the scoring started with a long home run to lead off the second inning.

Junior pitcher James Tilley continued his winning ways on the mound with six innings of work and allowing three runs while striking out 10 Tigers. The victory upped Tilley’s mark to 6-0 on the year.

            The series finale was back at Pickens on Thursday night and the Dragons wrapped up the series in impressive fashion with a 3-0 shutout win. Rice stole the show with a complete game effort on the

mound while throwing only 84 pitches. The right-hander struck out a school-record 12 batters and allowed only four hits and no walks. The victory pushed his record to 7-0 for the season. The offense posted seven hits on the night with junior first baseman Trace Ledbetter and senior outfielder Colby Brooks each notching two hits for the game.

            Pickens will conclude its region season this week with a three-game set versus Lumpkin County.

            Pickens will travel to Lumpkin on Tuesday (April 11) and on Friday (April 14). The Dragons will play host

to the Indians on Thursday (April 13). All three games are scheduled for 6 p.m. start times.

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