Diamond Dogs sweep Panthers, stumble at Mtn. Home

Diamond Dogs sweep Panthers, stumble at Mtn. Home

Photos By: Peggy Barger

The Greenwood Bulldogs have been flying high so far this season with only one early conference loss to Russellville, that is until this past Tuesday. After sweeping Siloam Springs last week in league play, the Diamond Dogs were in first place, but all that changed with Tuesday’s tough doubleheader loss at Mountain Home, the fourth-place team in the 5A West.

The Bulldogs are now 16-6 overall and 7-3 in conference play, one game behind Russellville and Greenbrier at 8-2 with four league games remaining. Greenwood will host Alma next week and play at Greenbrier on the last Tuesday of the month. The league’s top four teams will make the playoffs. The Diamond Dogs will host Class 6A Bentonville this Thursday in non-conference play.

Southside Mavericks

On the first Saturday in April the Bulldogs trekked down Highway 71 to Fort Smith to take on the Southside Mavericks in a nine-inning non-conference game, winning 3-2 behind the combined pitching efforts of Austin Mitchell, Mason Moore, and Brady Pettigrew. The two teams combined for just 10 hits and both squads played good defense with one error each in the one-run pitching duel. Southside also used three hurlers and held the Diamond Dogs to six hits.

The game was scoreless through two frames before Greenwood plated a solo run in the top of the third inning, and another in the top half of the fifth. But the Mavs scored both of their runs in the bottom half of the frame to knot the score at 2-2. The next three frames were scoreless until the Bulldogs broke the stalemate with a single run in the top of the ninth to lead 3-2.

Senior Brady Pettigrew then made it stand up in the bottom of the inning to collect the pitching victory. He threw four scoreless frames, allowing just one walk and one hit with four strikeouts. Austin Mitchell started the game for Greenwood, and the senior went three innings, giving one hit, two walks, and collected four strikeouts. Junior Mason Moore toed the rubber for two frames and allowed both Southside runs on two hits with five Ks.

At the dish, freshman catcher Ty Holt had three hits in five plate appearances, half of Greenwood’s total. Braden Skaggs, Grant Karnes, and Austin Mitchell had the other three knocks, with Karnes driving home a pair of runs. Skaggs also had a pair of walks and scored a run. Scott Holland and Aaron Taylor also scored a run each. Karnes swiped two bases in the contest and Mitchell nabbed one. The beneficiaries of seven walks, the Bulldogs left 10 runners stranded and GHS hitters fanned 10 times compared to 13 strikeouts for the Mavericks.

Siloam Springs game #1

The following Tuesday, April 8th, the Diamond Dogs were extremely rude hosts to the Panthers, sweeping both ends of the conference doubleheader, winning game one, 10-0. Junior Grant Karnes did the honors on the hill for the Bulldogs with five snappy innings of work on 59 total pitches, an incredible 44 of them strikes, or 75%. He faced just 17 batters in the game and retired nearly half of them on strikeouts, issuing no walks along the way.

His teammates did all their damage offensively on nine hits, also taking advantage of two Panthers’ errors for six unearned runs. Surprisingly, there were no walks in the game by either starting pitcher, both of which went the full five innings. The first two frames were scoreless until Greenwood broke through with six runs in the bottom of the third inning, adding a solo run in the fourth and three more in the bottom of the fifth to end the game prematurely due to the 10-run rule.

Four GHS hitters had two knocks each – Braden Skaggs, Austin Mitchell, Zack Zitzmann, and Austin Bercher. Scott Holland had the other hit for the Bulldogs. Skaggs had an RBI and scored a run. Mitchell had an RBI and scored twice. With a double and triple, Zitzmann plated four runs and scored once himself, while Bercher scored once and had an RBI. Brady Pettigrew, Jackson Cole (2), and Scott Holland (2) also scored runs. Holland also had a double.

Siloam Springs game #2

The Bulldogs weren’t done scoring after taking game one, using a nine-run third inning explosion to roll to a 15-0 victory in the nightcap, also in five innings. The Bulldogs plated a single run in the first and led 10-0 after three frames before pushing across five more tallies in the bottom of the fourth to invoke the early run-rule victory behind the shutout pitching of starter Mason Moore and Braden Skaggs, who pitched the last frame in relief.

Moore needed 52 pitches to get through four innings, allowing three hits and no walks with five strikeouts. Skaggs allowed one free pass in his one inning of work with two strikeouts. The two GHS hurlers combined to allow just three Siloam Springs’ hits. The Greenwood defense was perfect behind them.

Bulldogs’ hitters had 10 hits, but only one batsman with multiple hits. Brady Pettigrew had two knocks with three RBIs and one run scored. Eight other teammates had one hit each with Braden Skaggs, Scott Holland, Jackson Cole, Cooper Webb, Austin Mitchell (2), and Zack Zitzmann all had RBIs. Holland, Grant Karnes, Austin Bercher, and Brady Morgan each scored two runs for the Diamond Dogs. Zitzmann and Mitchell both had doubles and Karnes stole two bases with Cole, Holland, and Webb each swiping a bag.

Northside Grizzlies

Last Friday the Bulldogs tangled with the Bears of Fort Smith Northside, returning home with a 6-2 non-conference victory behind the solid pitching of starter Austin Mitchell and reliever Mason Moore. Mitchell went six innings and left the game with the score tied at 2-2. Moore worked the final two frames and benefitted from a four-run GHS rally in the top of the eighth inning for the victory. Mitchell gave up seven hits with nine strikeouts while Moore fanned four Northside hitters and allowed a walk and no hits.

After the Bulldogs scored a single run in the top of the second inning, the Grizzlies plated both of their runs in the bottom half of the frame for their only lead at 2-1. Following a scoreless third, the Diamond Dogs scored again in the top of the fourth to tie the score at 2-2. The game then settled down into a pitching duel until the top of the eighth when Greenwood plated four runs to take charge. Mason Moore did the rest with a scoreless bottom of the frame to preserve the win, although the Northsiders out-hit the Bulldogs 9-to-6.

Brady Pettigrew and Jackson Cole had two hits each for the Diamond Dogs with Pettigrew driving in two runs and Cole three runs. Pettigrew also scored three times. Both players had doubles among their hits and Pettigrew also had a homerun. Brady Skaggs and Austin Mitchell had the other two GHS hits. Grant Karnes and Zack Zitzmann each had a stolen base. The Grizzlies made two errors and two of Greenwood’s six runs were unearned. Greenwood’s defense was perfect behind pitchers Mitchell and Moore.

Mountain Home game #1

The Bulldogs ran into a tough pitcher in Baxter County as Mountain Home’s game one starter went six innings, allowing just four hits, two walks, and two runs. Likewise, Greenwood starter Grant Karnes was solid through three innings but ran into serious trouble in the fourth and was pulled with one out in the frame, replaced by Aaron Taylor, who got the final two outs. But Karnes was uncharacteristically charged with seven runs on five hits with three walks. The Bombers scored solo runs in the first and second and five in the fourth to lead 7-0.

The Bulldogs finally broke through with a single tally in the top of the fifth before getting two more in their last at bat in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to avoid the loss. Brady Pettigrew pitched the final inning for Greenwood in relief of Taylor. Neither team was great with the bats, combing for only 13 hits in the game and both defenses were perfect in the field. Brady Pettigrew had two hits for the Diamond Dogs with Braden Skaggs, Jackson Cole, Austin Mitchell, and Austin Bercher accounting for the other hits. Pettigrew, Cole, and courtesy runner Tarvir Shelton scored Greenwood’s three runs. The Bulldogs needed to take game two to salvage their longest road trip of the season.

Mountain Home game #2

However, the Bombers scored three runs in their first at bat in the nightcap, leading 3-0, putting the Bulldogs in a hole early. Two runs in the top of the second helped and a third run in the fifth tied the score at 3-3. Mason Moore toed the rubber for Greenwood and pitched into the sixth inning, keeping the game close after that initial hiccup in the first inning. Moore was relieved by Austin Mitchell, who recorded the final two Mountain Home outs.

The Bulldogs actually took a short-lived lead in the top of the sixth with another solo run, leading 4-3 heading into the bottom half of the frame. But Mountain Home responded with two runs of their own to regain the lead at 5-4, preserving the win with a scoreless top of the seventh against the GHS offense. Moore was charged with the pitching loss for the visitors, yielding four earned runs in 5.1 innings of work, allowing five hits and three walks with four strikeouts.

At the dish, Grant Karnes had two hits for the Bulldogs and scored a run, while Brady Pettigrew whacked a double and drove home a run. Braden Skaggs had a hit and an RBI, Jackson Cole had a hit and scored a run, while Austin Mitchell scored twice with a hit and a walk. Junior Scott Holland also had a hit and an RBI. Karnes and Austin Bercher each stole a base in the game.

After the twin losses, it was a long and quiet ride back to Greenwood for the Diamond Dogs. “It was a bad trip for us to Mountain Home,” said GHS Head Coach Brandon Brewer. “And it put us behind where we want to be heading into the last few weeks. There are five teams vying for four [playoff] spots, and we need to play well the next couple of weeks to make the state tournament. We haven’t played our best yet this year, so we are hoping it all comes together for the [home] stretch and we can make a run at it.”

Welcome to the Dog Pound

 


Diamond Dogs falter down the stretch; miss playoffs
Bulldogs battle their way into soccer playoffs; Lady Bulldogs close out their regular season
Lady Bulldogs finish 5A West conference play unbeaten; state playoffs up next as a #1 seed
Greenwood thinclads finish track and field season
GHS soccer teams still battling for playoff berths
Diamond Dogs sweep Panthers, stumble at Mtn. Home