Bulldogs Top Rebels In First of Three
Another week of region series, another series in 5A with big implications for the standings. Boiling Springs, fresh off dropping 2 out of 3 in 3 close games with Dorman, is meeting up with the Byrnes Rebels for a 3 game set this week, looking to avoid dropping down to the middle of the standings. The Rebels, under new leadership this season with new head coach Taylor Hollfield (who is a Boiling Springs alum), are looking to show positive progress and make a big statement this week. With the natural rivalry between these 2 and all these implications and goals, this series is truly one to follow.
The series opened Monday night at Byrnes, with the Bulldogs going with senior ace Jackson Cole and Byrnes sending Junior Cole Confer to the bump. Unfortunately for Confer, in what has become the norm for Boiling Springs, they got off to a fast start.
With 1 out in the top of the 1st, Bulldog right fielder Justin Dawkins drew a walk on a full count. Jackson Cole followed that up with a single, and both runners moved into scoring position on a passed ball for Luke Compton, who took advantage and got the Bulldogs on the board with an RBI sac fly to left.
Designated Hitter Corben Childers added a 2nd run on an RBI double that scored Jackson Cole’s courtesy runner Kohen Sloand. He was left out in scoring position after Catcher Hudson Wilson grounded out to 2nd, but the 2-0 advantage Boiling Springs picked up would be enough for Jackson Cole to work with little pressure on him.
Cole still had to go to the stretch in the bottom of the 1st after Byrnes right fielder Jaxson Camp reached on a 1 out error on Bulldog 2nd baseman Jackson Reel. After striking out 1st baseman Kadan Roach for the 2nd out, Designated Hitter Payne Sheriff drew a walk to put a man in scoring position for 2nd Baseman Connor Crenshaw.
Crenshaw pulled the game to within a run with an RBI single, driving in Camp unearned. That would be all the damage done by the Rebels in the 1st, and heading to the 2nd, Boiling Springs held serve at 2-1.
Neither team could muster anything in the 2nd as the Bulldogs ended up stranding a pair and Jackson Cole struck out the side in the home half of the frame – a feat he would repeat in the form of an immaculate inning in the bottom of the 4th.
BSHS extended their lead in the top of the 3rd, cashing in a leadoff walk by Jackson Cole. Luke Compton followed that walk by reaching the painful way – getting hit in the foot. It looked like the Bulldogs would get nothing out of the threat after Corben Childers grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. With Courtesy Runner Kohen Sloand on 3rd and 2 out, Hudson Wilson singled to score him.
The damage did not stop there. Wilson stole 2nd and took 3rd on a passed ball. With Jackson Reel at the plate, a wild pitch brought Wilson in. The Bulldogs carried a 4-1 lead to the bottom of the 3rd.
The Rebels responded with a run, but would leave 2 on base and would not muster but 2 more runs off of Jackson Cole in the bottom of the 5th. Meanwhile on the flipside, the Bulldogs strung together a 1 out single and 3 straight hits for a pair of runs with 2 out in the top of the 4th to all but salt it away, taking a 6-2 lead.
After another 3 up 3 down frame by Jackson Cole, the Bulldogs added a single run in the 6th on 3 consecutive 2 out singles off Byrnes reliever Payne Sheriff, who came in to pitch in the 4th and went 3 full innings.
After adding 2 more in the top of the 7th, Jackson Reel put the finishing touches on the dominant night for Bulldog pitching with a shutout inning, giving up a leadoff single to Center Fielder Nic Degler, but getting a 5-4-3 double play and a strikeout of Kadan Roach to end it, sealing the 9-4 win for Boiling Springs.
Jackson Cole was the best guy named Jackson on the field in this game, leading the way for Boiling Springs both on the mound and at the plate. Pitching, he went 6 innings, surrendering 4 runs, only 2 of which were earned on 2 hits with 5 walks and 12 strikeouts (giving him 26 over his last 2 starts). At the plate, he helped his own case in a big way. He was 3 for 3 with 2 RBIs, a walk, and 2 runs scored.
Luke Compton also tallied 2 ribbys on a 2-3 night at dish, while Corben Childers, Hudson Wilson, Landon Stevens, and Titus Hutchins each logged 1 RBI on a combined 6 for 16 with 4 runs scored.
Byrnes was led by Payne Sheriff, who was 0-2 with an RBI and a walk. Nic Degler was 2-4 and Connor Crenshaw was 1 for 2 with a walk.
The loss went to Cole Confer, who surrendered 5 hits and 4 earned runs with 2 walks and a strikeout in 3 innings of work.
Game 2 of the series will be at Boiling Springs on Wednesday night, with first pitch set for 6:30 PM.