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Dorman Sweeps Gaffney

It is hard to deny that the Dorman Cavaliers are not a squad that anyone wants to face right now. The Cavs followed their 10-5 win in the opener Monday night by winning a 4th consecutive region game Wednesday, clinching the series with a 4-1 decision on the road, which put them at 4-4 in league play and in a tie for 2nd place in 2-5A with Boiling Springs.

 

Friday, the series returned to Ronnie J Sims Field in Roebuck with Dorman aiming to complete the sweep and possibly come out of the week in sole possession of 2nd place, and on a night where they honored their 12 seniors, Jack Jolly turned to one of his senior arms – Bray Parton, to try and help the Cavaliers set up a showdown with the Byrnes Rebels next week for the region championship.

 

It did not take very long for the tone to be set. Gaffney threw Christian Walker– not to be confused with the former South Carolina and Arizona Diamondback star – who pitched in Monday night’s game for the Indians in relief of Owen Chapman after he gave up a grand slam to Mitch Wilson in the first inning. Walker threw three innings in that game, surrendering 3 runs on 5 hits with 2 walks and a strikeout. He was taken down in the bottom of the 5th for Silas Gilfillan after a leadoff triple and an RBI double to start the frame.

 

Walker had about the same longevity to his start in Friday’s finale, pitching into the 5th inning once again. He actually managed things well despite a lot of traffic on the basepaths. After a leadoff walk and a single to follow in the 1st, Christian escaped a 2 on 2 out jam with just 1 run allowed, coming on a sac fly from Colton Earnhardt. He got through the 2nd having just given up a solo home run to Aaron Sturgill with 1 away. In the third, Dorman once again managed to tack on just one run after a leadoff single from Colton Earnhardt and an RBI double to follow from Mitch Wilson as Walker came back with a pair of strikeouts and a fly ball to center with a single sandwiched in between to get to the 4th – his lone scoreless frame.

 

Once again, it was the 5th inning that would be Walker’s undoing, as Colton Earnhardt led off with a single and later stole 2nd. After getting Mitch Wilson swinging for a huge first out, Walker Jackson singled to tack on a 4th earned run to Christian’s line. Walker issued a free pass to the next hitter leading to back to back run-scoring fielders choice plays and an RBI single, which blew the game open and ended his night. Scout Gilfillan came on in relief and would put out the fire, allowing just one more run to come across on a wild pitch, giving Dorman an 8-0 cushion.

 

In the bottom of the 6th, Scout Gilfillan walked Colton Earnhardt to start the inning, prompting another call to the bullpen for Carson Bailey. His first pitch was a wild one to move Earnhardt into scoring position. Pinch hitter Wyatt Lunsford drew a walk, setting up a Walker Jackson RBI on a swinging bunt that put Lunsford 90 feet away representing the game-ending run. Mitchell Powell then came up to pinch hit for Noah McGarity, and lifted a “walkoff” sac fly to center to seal the 10-0 run rule victory and the sweep for the Cavaliers.

 

“I’m really proud of the guys. Any time you have an emotional thing like senior night, you get concerned about distractions and things like that. Our guys handled it well, even with an hour or so lightning delay that could have been a distraction. When it was time to play, they were ready and I thought they were focused. They executed some timely hits and when we had a chance to have a big inning, we were able to execute. I am just happy our guys finished it off”, said Coach Jolly.

 

Bray Parton was phenomenal, turning in one of his best starts of the season. He tossed all six innings in the shutout, striking out 5, walking 4, and allowing just 1 hit – a 1 out double from Drew Medley in the top of the 1st.

 

With the Gaffney series in the rearview, Dorman now sits at 5-4 in the region alone in 2nd place thanks to Spartanburg’s 3-1 victory over Boiling Springs Friday night. That makes next week’s regular season finale and rivalry series with Byrnes that much more interesting.

 

“Byrnes is at the top of the region for a reason. They are a good, solid ball club. From what I understand, they have good starting pitching, play good defense, and score plenty of runs. It is gonna be a tough assignment for us, but we are looking forward to the challenge. We will have to take it 1 game at a time and see what happens. It is always a good series when we play Byrnes. So, we are gonna get rested up this weekend and get after it on Monday”, said Jolly regarding next week’s rivalry faceoff.

 

Byrnes is currently 8-1 in 2-5A sitting in the catbird seat. Any one win for the Rebels in the series next week would be enough for them to clinch. If Dorman pulls off a sweep, they would finish in a tie with the head-to-head advantage giving them the region title. The series gets underway on Monday night in Duncan with a 6:30 first pitch. Game two will  be in Roebuck Wednesday, while the finale will be at Byrnes on Friday, both with a 6:30 start.

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