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Boiling Springs Takes Series Against Dorman

Every time the Boiling Springs Bulldogs and Dorman Cavaliers get together on the diamond, you can almost guarantee that there will be one game that is a slugfest. We got that on Monday in the series opener, which Boiling Springs held on to win 8-6. You also usually get a blowout and one game where the winner had to come back from a significant deficit late in the game. Those tendencies and nature of this annual rivalry series is what makes it one to circle on the calendar, and all of that is heightened with the stakes.


The implications of the series win are simple. Winner gets a big head start on the region standings race. The loser has a lot taller of a mountain to climb to try and get the 1 seed heading into the district round of the playoffs. With the Bulldogs’ win on Monday, it forced Dorman into a tough situation where they had to push all their chips to the middle of the table to try and force a rubber game. A win for Boiling Springs would allow them to come into Friday with the series in hand and little pressure on them. All that said, this game had all the makings of an absolute war of attrition.


As the series shifted to Boiling Springs’ Bulldog Park Wednesday night, Bray Parton took to the bump for Dorman while the Bulldogs countered with Kyle Dill. Both hurlers eased their way through the first 2 innings despite the Cavs managing to get Dill into some deep counts. Of the first 10 hitters Dill faced, half of them saw 5 or more pitches in their at bats. That was no issue initially, as he recorded 4 strikeouts and didn’t walk a single hitter in the first 3 innings. However, he did run into some trouble in the top half of the 3rd, when with 1 out, Jackson Pruitt singled and swiped 2nd. He would end up giving the Cavaliers the early lead when Clay Crossley singled with 2 out to drive him in before being erased on a fielder’s choice play at 2nd to retire the side.


On the other side of the coin, Boiling Springs was making things easy for Bray Parton early on, swinging early on in the count. Only one Bulldog hitter of the first 6 faced managed to get so much as an even count, as they went in order over the first 2 frames. However, they did respond when it mattered the most.


Down 1-0 heading to the bottom of the 3rd, Kyle Patterson and JD Moore singled back to back to start the frame. Kai Lee moved them both into scoring position with a sac bunt, which opened the door for Landon Stevens to play some small ball to tie the game. He lifted a sac fly to deep left center field to plate Patterson and move Moore over to 3rd. But, that was where the buck stopped for the Dogs as Justin Dawkins grounded out to short to end the inning.


It did not take long for the Cavaliers to jump back on top. Mitch Wilson led off the top of the 4th with a walk followed by a double from Coleman Brown to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Campbell Whitener would end up putting Dorman back on top with a sacrifice fly to center , and the Cavs would later add on with an RBI double down the left field line from Aaron Sturgill. Dorman got another man aboard on a single from Wyatt Lunsford, but they would end up stranding 2, taking a 3-1 lead to the bottom of the frame.


Boiling Springs  got a run back to make it 3-2, and would ultimately get a chance to chip their way to a comeback thanks to one of the better stories from this game – the work out of the bullpen from junior righty Lucas Morrison. He allowed just 1 base runner in 3 innings of relief, striking out 2 with no walks or hits, which coupled with a 6th inning rally was enough to earn him the win.


“We challenged all of our bullpen guys to be ready to go when called upon tonight and he was ready. I’m tickled pink for that kid because he has worked his tail off and he needed some success and he got it tonight. He has a very good breaking ball and a fastball that moves a lot and he has gotten stronger and put in a lot of work in the weight room. We are tickled for him”, said BSHS head coach Jeff Lipscomb.


The deciding blow was dealt in the bottom of the 6th inning, when trailing 3-2, Noah Ezell started a rally with 1 out. He drew a walk that Kyle Patterson followed with his second base knock of the night. Following a 6-3 groundout from JD Moore that advanced both runners into scoring position, Kai Lee smacked a grounder to short that was dropped for an E6, allowing the tying run to come across. Landon Stevens would later prove to be the offensive hero in this game as he singled up the middle on a 1-0 pitch to score Kyle Patterson, giving the Bulldogs the 4-3 lead they would not relinquish.


“I am very excited for our team after coming from behind to beat an outstanding Dorman team. I told Coach Jolly the other day that I hate starting the season with them because they are a bunch of well-coached and hard-nosed kids> We were fortunate to win again tonight because it could have gone either way”, said Lipscomb.


“You have to be mentally tough in this game. We preach that. Sometimes, good things happen when you don’t quit. We talk about not quitting when things are down and we have a group of kids that believe we are gonna find a way to win. I tip my cap to those guys for being Bulldogs tonight”, he later added.


With the scales of the region standings tipped in the Bulldogs’ favor, the series will head back to Sims Field in Roebuck on Friday night where the Cavaliers will look to salvage the finale.


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