Bennett Caldwell led the Bulldogs to their second consecutive District Championship with a gritty pitching performance. After defeating Emerald in Game 1 of the evening, the Bulldogs won the coin toss and were the home team for Game 2. Caldwell pitched 6 innings and allowed one earned run, four hits, had three walks, and had four strikeouts. Jake Tanner came into the game after a lead-off walk with the Bulldogs leading 2-1 in the top of the 7th inning. Emerald loaded the bases with no outs and Tanner calmly induced a 1-2-3 double play. He then struck out the next batter to secure the victory and earn a save.
Emerald scored a run in the top of the fourth inning to go ahead 1-0 in the decisive game. In the bottom of the fifth inning Tanner led off with a line drive triple to right field. He would score on a passed ball to tie the game. With 2 outs, Matthew Cassidy reached on an infield error and stole second base. He would score on yet another infield error when Bryce Jeffcoat put the ball in play. That gave the Bulldogs the lead for good at 2-1.
McKenzie Barrineau led the Bulldog offensive attack with two doubles. With the victory the Bulldogs become the AAA District III Champions and will advance to the Upper State District beginning on Thursday at Union County. The Bulldogs are now 19-12 overall. Tate Abbott will be the starting pitcher for Thursday’s contest.