Bulldogs’ baseball improves to 5-1 in league play

Bulldogs’ baseball improves to 5-1 in league play

The Diamond Dogs continued their march through the 2024 schedule with a bevy of games over the past two weeks, including four on the road in Central Arkansas during the week of spring break. Greenwood went 2-2 on the trip and are now 12-4 overall before beating the Harrison Goblins this past Tuesday in a 5A West doubleheader. After an earlier doubleheader split with Russellville, and more recent sweeps over Van Buren and Harrison, the Bulldogs are ahead of the pack in league play at 5-1. Greenwood will play at Fort Smith Southside on Saturday.

Red Oak, Oklahoma

On the last day of classes before spring break, Friday, March 15th, the Bulldogs hosted and beat the Red Oak Eagles, 7-6. The game wasn’t that close until a late rally by the visitors, scoring three runs in their last at bat. Greenwood led 7-3 going into the seventh inning and barely escaped with the one-run victory. Zack Zitzmann started the game for the Diamond Dogs and went four solid frames, allowing five hits and two earned runs. He was relieved by freshman Aaron Taylor (2.2 frames) and Austin Mitchell, who recorded the final out to preserve the GHS win.

The home team led 1-0 after one inning and scored twice more in the fourth and three times in the fifth. Red Oak plated two runs in the third and one in the fifth before their late explosion. Greenwood out-hit the Eagles 10 to eight and the visitors made the game’s only three errors, allowing the Diamond Dogs to score two unearned runs that proved critical.

With the sticks, the Bulldogs were led by Braden Skaggs and Austin Mitchell with two hits each. Ty Holt, Brady Pettigrew, Zack Zitzmann, Austin Bercher, Scott Holland, and Brady Morgan all had solo knocks. Pettigrew and Zitzmann had two RBIs each, while Skaggs and Holland had the other two runs batted in. Holland and Mitchell both had doubles. Skaggs and Mitchell scored two runs each.

Brookland Bearcats

The ‘Cats were the Bulldogs’ first opponent in their tournament in Central Arkansas the week of spring break. On Thursday, March 21st they played at Little Rock Christian, beating Brookland, 7-0. Three GHS hurlers took the mound with junior Mason Moore getting the start and going 5.2 innings with eight strikeouts. Senior relievers Austin Mitchell and Brady Pettigrew followed Moore to the hill. Mitchell got the final out of the sixth inning and Pettigrew pitched the seventh. Greenwood allowed just one walk and two hits in the game.

Bulldogs’ bats got one run in the home half of the second and another in the bottom of the fifth before putting the game away with five tallies in the sixth inning. Greenwood banged out nine hits and took advantage of three walks and five Brookland errors, though six of their seven runs were earned. Catcher Ty Holt, Brady Pettigrew, and Austin Mitchell led the Bulldogs with two hits each. Braden Skaggs, Grant Karnes, Jackson Cole all had one hit apiece. Skaggs, Karnes, Pettigrew, Mitchell, and Brady Morgan all had solo RBIs. Defensively, Greenwood made just two errors to support their good pitching.

Maumelle Hornets

The Bulldogs had one more contest that same day at Maumelle High School, a 2-0 GHS victory over the Hornets behind the stellar pitching of junior starter Grant Karnes, who went six innings, and Austin Mitchell’s two frames in relief, getting the win in extra innings. There were only five hits in the game with Greenwood getting four of them. Both teams struck out seven times and the defense was shaky with the two teams combing for five errors. Both GHS runs in the eighth were unearned.

Scoreless through six innings, Karnes was replaced on the hill by Mitchell after giving up no hits and four walks with five Ks. Mitchell retired the side in the bottom of the seventh and earned the win after the Bulldogs scored twice in the top of the eighth. Zack Zitzmann had two knocks for Greenwood with Brady Pettigrew and Austin Bercher picking up the other two hits.

Hot Springs Lakeside Rams

On Friday, March 22nd the Bulldogs took on the Lakeside Rams and lost a close one in extra innings, 4-3. Left-handed junior Zack Zitzmann got the start on the mound for Greenwood and pitched into the fifth inning before being relieved by another lefty, freshman Aaron Taylor, who eventually took the hard-luck loss.

The Rams got two runs in the top of the first off Zitzmann, who then righted the ship and threw blanks over the next four-plus innings. Taylor came on with one out in the sixth, giving up one run in that frame and the game-winner in the top of the eighth. The Diamond Dogs scored once in the first inning and twice more in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 3-3.

Both teams had seven hits in the contest and Lakeside made the only defensive error. Jackson Cole had the only multi-hit game for Greenwood, including a double, one of only two extra-base hits for the Bulldogs. Brady Pettigrew had the other two-bagger, driving home three runs in the game. Ty Holt, Grant Karnes, Zack Zitzmann, and Austin Bercher all had solo knocks. The Lakeside starting pitcher went the distance plus one and issued five free passes but was able to limit the damage by scattering seven GHS hits.

Little Rock Christian Warriors

That same Friday, the Bulldogs returned to the campus of Little Rock Christian Academy and lost to the Warriors, 9-2. What began as a pitching duel ended with a LRC explosion in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring six runs to put the game away. Brady Pettigrew started for Greenwood and pitched four innings, leaving the game trailing 3-2. He was relieved by sophomore Logan Thessing and freshman Cooper Webb. Thessing, whose dad is a GHS assistant football coach, pitched 1.1 frames but was hit hard, giving up four hits, two walks, and six runs, five earned. Webb recorded the final two outs of the sixth inning.

The Warriors scored once in the bottom of the first and twice more in the second, leading 3-0 before Greenwood broke through with single runs in the third and fourth frames. Trailing 3-2 after five innings, the Bulldogs were still very much in the game before the home team plated their six runs in the bottom of the sixth. Two LRC hurlers limited Greenwood to just three hits. Both teams made one error each. The three GHS knocks came off the bats of Grant Karnes (2) and Scott Holland, the latter being responsible for the only Greenwood extra-base hit, a double and an RBI. Karnes also had a ribbie.

Van Buren Pointers game #1

Last Tuesday, March 26th, the Diamond Dogs beat the Pointers, 3-2, in their return to 5A West conference play. Greenwood scored single runs in the first, third, and fifth innings and led 3-0 heading into the top of the sixth before Van Buren plated both of their runs. Junior Grant Karnes got the start for the Bulldogs and went the distance, giving up two unearned runs on three hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts. The GHS defense made three errors in the game, including in the Van Buren sixth inning leading to both Pointers’ runs.

At the plate, Greenwood had seven hits, led by Karnes and Zack Zitzmann with two hits each. Karnes also had an RBI. Braden Skaggs, Brady Pettigrew, and Austin Mitchell all had solo knocks with Skaggs, Pettigrew, and Zitzmann scoring single runs. Pettigrew’s hit was a double. Van Buren pitching allowed six bases on balls, but limited the damage, causing the Bulldogs to strand a whooping 12 baserunners.

Van Buren Pointers game #2

In the nightcap, Greenwood came from behind to slip past the Pointers, 9-8, to complete the doubleheader sweep. Mason Moore got the start for the Bulldogs but was touched up for four runs in the first, all earned, on six hits, though he completed the inning. Austin Mitchell relieved and finished the game with six innings of work, allowing five hits and four additional runs, but only two were earned. His efforts were rewarded with a win as the GHS bats went to work in the sixth and seventh innings for the come-from-behind victory.

The home team trailed 4-0 after one frame but scored twice in the second to cut the deficit in half at 4-2. The Pointers then scored twice more in the third and fourth innings for an 8-2 advantage, hoping to preserve a split in the two games. But the Bulldogs got up off the deck in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring six runs to tie the score at 8-8. They added a single run in the bottom of the seventh to walk it off with a 9-8 conference victory.

At the plate, Grant Karnes and Jackson Cole led the GHS attack with two hits each, with Cole credited with three RBIs. Braden Skaggs, Ty Holt, Brady Pettigrew, Austin Mitchell, Zack Zitzmann, and Brady Morgan all had solo hits. Zitzmann had a pair of runs driven home while Karnes, Pettigrew, Mitchell, and Morgan all had solo RBIs. Mitchell had a double while Zitzmann whacked a triple. Cole and Karnes both scored two runs in the game.

Rogers Mounties

After their sweep of the Pointers on Tuesday, the Diamond Dogs closed out the month of March last Friday with a 5-0 loss at Class 6A Rogers, blanked by a pair of Mounties’ pitchers, held to just two hits while striking out eight times over seven innings. Ty Holt and Jackson Cole had the only knocks for Greenwood, both singles. Rogers issued one walk and Greenwood left all three baserunners stranded.

GHS starter Zack Zitzmann went just one scoreless inning before Brady Pettigrew relieved and pitched 4.1 frames, yielding four runs, just two earned, on five hits and two walks. Aaron Taylor got the final two outs for Greenwood. Rogers scored once in the home half of the third and fifth innings before securing the win with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.

Harrison Goblins game #1

Pitchers Grant Karnes and Austin Mitchell combined for a spectacular eight-inning performance in Greenwood’s 1-0 conference victory over the Goblins this past Tuesday. Karnes got the start and pitched 7.2 frames before being pulled by Coach Brewer in favor of Mitchell, who recorded the final out in the top of the eighth. The Bulldogs then scored the game’s only run in the bottom half for a walk-off winner in extra innings. Karnes gave up just three hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts.

The scorecard showed nothing but zeros through seven frames. Greenwood had seven total hits in the contest, but Harrison pitching did an equally good job limiting the GHS offense as Karnes did in harnessing the Goblins’ bats. The Bulldogs also received two walks and Harrison made three fielding errors. Greenwood’s defense also had two miscues, but none of the game’s fielding mistakes figured directing in the scoring.

The GHS offense was led by junior Scott Holland with two hits, while teammates Ty Holt, Grant Karnes, Brady Pettigrew, Zack Zitzmann, and Austin Bercher all had solo knocks. Holt collected the game’s only RBI, driving home Austin Bercher with the winning run in the seventh.

Harrison Goblins game #2

Game two couldn’t have been more different than the opener, a 10-0 run-rule shutout victory for the Bulldogs behind the strong mound effort of starter Mason Moore, who went all five innings, giving up just two hits and a walk with nine Ks. Moore’s effort was backed up by a strong performance by the GHS offense with six timely hits, taking advantage of ten walks and five Harrison errors. As a result, only three of Greenwood’s 10 runs were earned.

No Greenwood hitter had more than one hit or one run batted in or scored more than one run, as the production was distributed up and down the lineup card. Braden Skaggs, Grant Karnes, Brady Pettigrew, Jackson Cole, Zack Zitzmann, and Brady Morgan all had hits, with Pettigrew stroking a double. Karnes, Pettigrew, Cole, Morgan, and Austin Bercher all had single RBIs. Bercher and Ty Holt both drew a pair of walks and the Bulldogs left eight baserunners stranded.

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