By: Eddy Gifford, Publisher
The Dade County Wolverine baseball team continued their early season struggles last week as they played a pair of region games against two good teams.
On Wednesday afternoon Dade hosted the Pepperell Dragons in a game that was originally scheduled for Tuesday but weekend rain left the field too wet to play.
The Wolverines took the early lead, as they have in most of their games this year with a first inning run.
The Dragons responded with a run of their own in the third inning to tie the game but the Wolverines took the lead again in the bottom of the third with a single run to make it a 2-1 game.
Pepperell scored three in the top of the fourth but Dade rallied for two in the bottom of the inning to tie the game 4-4.
The game would stay tied until the top of the fifth when the visiting Dragons took advantage of several Wolverine errors to take a 9-4 lead.
Dade scored one in the bottom of the seventh but fell to the visitors 9-5.
Of the nine runs Pepperell scored only four of them were earned as the Wolverines committed seven errors in the game.
Nic Gaddis led Dade with two hits and an RBI while Luke Riddle and Josh Core each had a hit and RBI.
Core pitched 4.1 innings giving up seven hits, two earned runs and struck out four. Garrett Moore pitched 2.2 innings giving up two earned runs and three hits, striking out two.
On Thursday afternoon the Wolverines traveled to Model to face the Blue Devils in another region game.
Riddle led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and then scored on another ground out to give the Wolverines the early lead.
Model came out swinging in the bottom of the first however and got four straight hits and scored three runs to take the lead.
The Blue Devils were swinging hot bats and by the end of the fourth inning had built a 7-1 lead.
Dade tried to get back in the game in the top of the fifth, scoring two runs but Model answered in the bottom of the inning with four runs of their own to go up 11-3.
Dade added three more runs in the top of the sixth but the Blue Devils added another run of their own to hold a commanding 12-6 lead heading into the seventh inning.
Dade was unable to score again and fell 12-6.
The Wolverines managed only two hits, one by Riddle and the other by Core but worked the Blue Devils pitchers for eight walks.
Wolverine Coach Brent Cooper said, “The positives of the season thus far would be the hot bats of Josh Core and Luke Riddle with Nic Gaddis starting to heat up. He was a little rusty coming straight from basketball. We are struggling with the bats right now and that must improve. Our starting pitching from Josh Core and Nic Gaddis has helped us be competitive but we must learn to finish games.”
Cooper added, “Defensively we are playing poorly and I take full responsibility for that. It’s my job to have these kids more prepared than we are showing right now.”
Cooper went on to say, “My message to the team after the Model game was I don’t care what the scoreboard says, winning or losing, we have to be focused on improving every inning.”
This week the Wolverines will be busy during Spring Break as they played Murray County at home on Tuesday, travel to Coosa on Thursday and host South Pittsburgh on Friday.