Bulldogs return from spring break trip to down Southside, 1-0

By Richard White

While the last couple of weeks haven't been that kind to them in the win-loss column, the Greenwood Bulldogs returned home from an exhausting weekend trip to Georgia to notch a 1-0 extra-inning victory over one of their fiercest rivals, the Mavericks of Fort Smith Southside.

The game was played at Southside this past Monday, improving the Diamond 'Dogs season mark to 9-6 overall. They will next play on Friday at Siloam Springs, a conference game.

After starting the season 6-1, Head Coach Trey Holloway and his team have posted a 3-5 record, mostly against non-conference competition, including a 1-3 record at the Rawlings Perfect Game tournament in Lake Point, Georgia last weekend.

Upon their return from spring break and their trek across Dixie, the Bulldogs hardly had time to catch their breath before classes resumed and they found themselves facing the Southside Mavericks.

Fortunately, junior starting pitcher Ryan Daggs fired a three-hit eight-inning shutout, earning the 1-0 win. He fanned six Southside hitters, walked three, and threw 108 pitches.

Southside starter Ryan Horn had almost identical stats to Daggs as neither team mounted much of an offensive threat through seven innings. Both teams had just three hits in the contest.

The game-winner came on an RBI double by Greenwood catcher Jake Smith in the top of the eighth, driving home Dylan Montgomery, who had singled and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Daggs.

The GHS hurler then pitched a scoreless eighth with the aid of a great leaping catch at the wall by freshman centerfielder Colton Sagely for the final out with the tying run on base.

Lake Point, Georgia
The Diamond 'Dogs opened tournament play last Thursday with a 5-0 loss to St. Rita of Chicago, which scored the game's first run in the second inning on an RBI groundout. But a four-run fifth was the clincher against GHS starter Connor Noland, who took the loss. None of the five runs were earned as the Bulldogs committed four defensive errors.

The next day the 'Dogs faced Enterprise, Alabama and came out on the short end of a 2-1 score. Greenwood tallied its only run in the top of the third inning on an RBI hit by Peyton Holt, driving home Ronnie Berg. The Bulldogs had just three hits in the game.

But Enterprise scored twice in the bottom of the fifth off GHS starting pitcher Blake Pschier, who twirled 4.1 innings, giving up five hits and one earned run before being relieved by Jace Presley. Once again the GHS defense was leaky, making three errors.

Following the loss, Greenwood faced Morgan Park of Chicago, Illinois and got its only win in the tournament, an 8-0 shutout behind starter Cooper Van Kooten, who pitched five innings, allowing five hits before being relieved by Braiden Partin. This time the 'Dogs played impeccable defense with no errors.

A single run in the bottom of the first inning and four more in the third were all that Van Kooten needed. But Greenwood added two more insurance tallies in the fifth frame and one more in the sixth, taking advantage of three Morgan Park errors while collecting just four hits in the game.

Holt, Presley, Smith, and Daggs accounted for all of the Bulldogs hits, with Holt driving home three runs. Presley, Daggs, Montgomery, Berg, and Brandon Woosley all had solo RBIs.

Last Saturday the Diamond 'Dogs wrapped up their tournament appearance with a 5-1 loss to DeMatha Catholic of Hyattsville, Maryland. Greenwood scored its only run in the top of the second to tie the score at 1-1, and starting pitcher Isaac Schwartz kept it that way until the sixth inning when DeMatha broke through for four runs to put the game away.

Schwartz fanned four and walked three, giving up three earned runs as the Bulldogs committed a pair of costly errors. Ryan Daggs and Cooper Passmore closed out the sixth inning with Daggs also giving up an unearned run.

Both teams managed just five hits with Peyton Holt collecting two of the five for the Bulldogs. Daggs drove home the only run for Greenwood.

El Dorado
Prior to their tournament trip, the Diamond 'Dogs traveled to Conway and the campus of the University of Central Arkansas to face the El Dorado Wildcats in conference play on March 16th. Connor Noland got the nod on the mound and did not disappoint, throwing a complete game one-hit shutout.

The 1-0 victory featured excellent pitching on both sides, but Noland stole the show with 12 strikeouts, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He walked only one batter.

Noland also got the job done offensively, driving home the game's only run in the top of the first inning with a sacrifice fly, scoring Colton Sagely, who had one of Greenwood's three hits.

Two days earlier the Bulldogs hosted the Class 5A Farmington Cardinals in another league tilt, giving up an early 4-0 lead en route to an 11-5 loss. Greenwood scored its final run in the fourth.

Farmington pushed across three runs in the third inning, and two more in the fourth to take the lead. After the 'Dogs tied the score at 5-5, the Cardinals broke the game open with a six-run top of the seventh. Farmington banged out 14 hits in the win.

Cooper Van Kooten started and took the loss for Greenwood, giving up eight runs and 12 hits. He fanned six batters and walked one. Blake Pschier relieved in the seventh and also allowed three runs.

At the plate Greenwood tallied five hits, all singles, and no player had more than one, though Connor Noland drove home two runs. Jake Smith, Dylan Montgomery, and Van Kooten all had solo RBIs.

Oktaha, OK
In cold and blustery conditions, the Bulldogs hosted Oktaha, Oklahoma on March 13th and battled back to make a game of it until a three-run seventh gave the visitors a 7-3 victory.

Trailing 3-0 after two frames, Greenwood scored once in the fourth inning and twice more in the fifth. Oktaha added a solo run in the top of the fifth and led 4-3 going into the final inning of play.

Isaac Schwartz started the game on the mound for the Bulldogs and pitched into the fifth inning, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits while walking four batters. He was relieved by Ryan Daggs and Jace Presley, with Daggs surrendering three runs (two earned) and taking the loss.

At the dish Greenwood out-hit Oktaha 9-8 with Van Kooten, Noland, and Berg each collecting two hits. Van Kooten and Noland were credited with an RBI each.

On March 10th the Bulldogs traveled to conference foe Clarksville and easily defeated the Class 5A Panthers 13-2 in five innings. An eight-run second inning keyed the victory with the visiting 'Dogs adding two more runs in the third and three more in the fourth, out-hitting Clarksville 12-3.

Peyton Holt, Colton Sagely, and Dylan Montgomery all had two hits in the game, with Holt, Noland, and Van Kooten collecting two RBIs each.

Montgomery was the winning hurler, working four innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out five hitters. Jace Presley threw a scoreless fifth inning in relief.

Sallisaw, OK
A day earlier, on March 9th, the Diamond 'Dogs traveled to Sallisaw, Oklahoma and spanked the Black Diamonds in fifth innings, 10-0. A first inning power surge propelled Greenwood to the non-conference victory.

Colton Sagely, Connor Noland, Cody Smith, and Ryan Daggs all belted homeruns in the top of the first as Greenwood built an early 5-0 lead. Single runs in the second and fourth innings added to the lead, and a three-run fifth accounted for the final tally.

Sagely, Montgomery, and Cody Smith all had two hits in the game, with Smith, Noland, and Ryan Daggs each driving home two runs. Peyton Holt doubled and walked twice, crossing the plate three times.

On the mound, Cooper Van Kooten earned the win, going three scoreless innings. He was relieved by Isaac Schwartz who also tossed two scoreless frames to preserve the shutout.

The team will get some well-deserved rest this week before returning to play on Friday at Siloam Springs. They will host Russellville next Tuesday. Both contests are Class 6A conference games.

Bulldogs Return From Spring Break Trip To Down Southside
 By: Richard White
Photos By: Brian Vaughn

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