CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – Stung by a quiet opener at the Perfect Game High School Showdown, Denham Springs High needed some sort of spark Thursday when it took ok Saraland (Ala.).
It took a while, but the Yellow Jackets finally created some offensive production and then took advantage when the Spartans’ pitching struggled to close things out.
DSHS overcame a three-run deficit to nab a 4-3 victory in 8 innings to finish the first day 1-1 at the showcase event. The Jackets (8-6) get a rematch against Houston County (Ga.) at 5 p.m. Friday.
For 4 innings, Denham scratched out only one hit vs. Saraland starter Luke Turner and three other base runners. Nine-hole hitter Caleb Passman reached on an error to start the 5th inning and raced home when Cade Doughty smacked a triple with one out. Micah Tippit plated Doughty to reduce the deficit to 3-2.
Another error cracked the door open in the 7th inning. But reliever Zac Hardman struck out J.P. Preston for the second out and two on. Hunter James waited out a full-count walk to load the bases and Hardman tied the game when he plunked Dawson Albin to force in a run.
Albin worked around a walk and a single in the top of the 8th inning to keep the game deadlocked, but Hardman couldn’t duplicate that effort.
Cole Montgomery started the DSHS 8th with a single and the Jackets quickly filled up the bases on an error and four-pitch walk to Passman, who reached base in all four plate appearances. Hardman retired Cade Cole on a foul pop but walked Doughty to send Montgomery trotting home with the winning run.
Despite allowing three runs in the first 4 innings, Albin notched his 3rd win with a gritty 8-inning complete game, allowing only one hit in the last 4 frames. Doughty scored twice in drove in a pair.
DSHS 4, SARALAND (ALA.) 1 (8)
Saraland 100 200 00 -- 3 7 4
DSHS 000 020 11 -- 4 4 2
Luke Turner, Zac Hardman (7) and Michael Milner; Dawson Albin and Cade Cole. W – Albin (3-1). L – Hardman. 3B: Saraland – Jackson Sikes; DSHS – Cade Doughty. Records: Saraland 7-5, DSHS 8-6. Up next: Perfect Game High School Showdown – DSHS vs. Houston County (Ga.), 5 p.m. Friday.
Houston County (Ga.) 4, DSHS 0
At a high level tournament, top-notch pitching figures to be a prominent item on the menu. DSHS and Houston County (Ga.) both encountered as much in their opener at the Perfect Game High School Showdown. The Bears found a little more to sink their teeth into, though, on the way to the victory.
Denham’s Jase McDonald and Cameron Jones from Houston County both threw at a high level, but McDonald’s early wobble was enough for the Bears to push home two early runs and play from in front the entire game.
The Yellow Jackets (7-6) didn’t encounter the same good fortune vs. Jones. DSHS didn’t produce a hit at all until the 5th inning and was 0-for-7 to lead off an inning.
Preston’s one-out single in the 5th and Doughty’s base hit with two outs in the 6th were Denham’s only hits. Jones walked three hitters but all of those came with two outs -- the last after Doughty’s hit giving the Jackets two runners at the same time for the only time the entire game.
McDonald scattered nine hits and issued only one walk, but couldn’t completely evade trouble in the 1st and 2nd innings when Houston County (9-2) pushed home a run in each frame. The first run was the result of three consecutive hits, with B.J. Preston’s double scoring Dillon Toms.
In the 2nd frame, Logan Morris began the Bears’ at-bat with a double and scored two batters last on Dylan Tabor’s fly ball to left field.
Houston County tacked on two unearned runs in the 5th inning.
HOUSTON COUNTY (Ga.) 4, DSHS 0
DSHS 000 000 0 -- 0 2 2
Houston County 110 020 x -- 4 9 0
Jase McDonald and Cade Cole; Cameron Jones and Dillon Toms. W – Jones. L – McDonald (2-1). 2B: HC – B.J. Preston, Logan Morris, Toms. Records: DSHS 7-6, Houston County 9-2.