The Mary Persons baseball team improved to 13-3, 4-0 in region by beating Peach County 6-3 on Friday in Forsyth.
The boys trounced the Trojans earlier in the year but on Friday, fans were treated to a refreshing pitcher’s duel. The game went scoreless through 5 innings as both teams managed to shut each other’s offense down. Starting pitcher Caden Swancey went 6 innings giving up zero runs on 6 hits. Neither team scored until the bottom of the 6th when a pair of errors by Peach County proved to be costly. Thorn Anderson started the inning making contact on a 3-1 pitch that was bobbled by the 3rd baseman. Then Eric Snow rapped a single that almost made it into the outfield but was cut off by the shortstop. Aric Mock then laid down a perfect bunt on the third baseline to record another single, loading the bases. Swancey then swung on the first pitch that went to the second baseman who short armed a toss that was dropped by the shortstop allowing all runners to advance, scoring Anderson from third and Snow from second. Now down 2-0 Peach County intentionally walked Thomas Brooks to reload the bases. Jaden Bankston then did his job by putting a 2-1 pitch to right field that scored Swancey and Mock however another out was made on the play with Brooks getting called out trying to advance to second. The Bulldog offense caught stride as back-to-back singles by Jake Gore and Thomas Willingham was followed up by an RBI double by Gage Hopper that put Mary Persons up 6-0.
Peach County did not give up in the 7th inning as it tried to mount a comeback scoring three runs. With 2 outs and the tying run at the plate, senior Jaden Bankston came into the game to throw 3 pitches for the final out to get the save as MP won 6-3.
The game included a new record for Snow. In the bottom of the first inning, the junior shortstop hit his 10th triple of the season which ties a state record for a single season. The record was set by Harrison Stewart of Thomasville in 2017. Snow is on pace to break the national record of 16 which was Alex Ortiz (Rochester East, NY) in 2009 and Steve Kopepasah (Marlow, OK) in 1976.
The day prior, on a quiet Thursday night, the Bulldogs looked to get revenge on a team they lost to on March 5 as AAAAA Veterans came to town. Veterans got it started off with a bunt by speedy centerfielder C. Pless who got a leadoff single and advanced to second and third on a bunt by M. Lauritsen, catching the Bulldog defense by surprise. Pless scored on the next play by a sacrifice fly which turned out to be the only run for both teams for the first four innings. Both teams scored 2 runs each in the 5th inning that was highlighted by a towering homerun by Eric Snow to left center field. Veterans added an insurance run in the 7th but it wasn’t needed as the game ended in a close 4-2 game handing Mary Persons its 3rd loss of the season making its record 13-3. Thomas Willingham had a quality start giving up only 1 earned run through 5 innings pitched, striking out 3.
The Bulldogs will go on the road on Friday at Upson-Lee, then play at McIntosh on Monday, March 29 and at Americus-Sumter on Tueseday, March 30. Games will start at 5:55 p.m. with the exception of Americus which will start at 5:30.