Dalton High School Catamounts

April 1, 2014

Out of control victory

Spotty pitching can’t damper Dalton's sub-region win

Dalton and LaFayette high schools are on spring break this week, and on Monday their baseball teams’ pitching took a vacation when it came to throwing strikes.

The teams combined for 14 walks and four hit batters in a Sub-region 7B-4A game at Dalton, although most of the damage belonged to the host Catamounts, who won 5-4 despite their control problems.

Dalton (11-4, 6-1 Sub-region 7B-4A) plays at LaFayette (3-12, 0-7) at 5:30 p.m. today and hosts the Ramblers again at the same time Wednesday, but Cats coach Shane Ramsey would probably just as soon fast-forward to next week — when his players return to school. He held a 10 a.m. batting practice session Monday in hopes of making sure his players wouldn’t sleep all day and enter the game flat, but it didn’t seem to take on the mound.

“It’s spring break ... the routine is screwed up,” Ramsey said when asked for an explanation of the control troubles.

Kaleb Hill, a junior who started the game at third base, looked wide awake when he took the mound in the sixth with runners at first and second with one out. He worked the final 1 2/3 innings, picking up the save and proving himself the most effective and efficient pitcher among five used by the Cats.

Hill got back-to-back groundouts to end the sixth and struck out the leadoff batter in the seventh before hitting the next one, Andy Boss. But a pop fly produced the inning’s second out and it looked the Cats were going to wrap things up on a force to second base from Chase Elliott’s grounder to the left side of the infield.

The umpire ruled Boss safe, though, and Elliott was on first by that time. Ramsey was halfway across the infield to argue the call before he turned around, saying he wasn’t going to waste his time.

“(Hill) looked at me when I went out to argue that last call and said, ‘Coach, don’t worry, I got this,’” Ramsey said. “And I could (see it) in his eyes, we were going to be fine.”

Hill made sure of it, striking out Justus Cleverley to end the game and helping the Cats put the finishing touch on a win with plenty of warts.

Dalton had 10 walks and hit four batters, but Hill’s contributions to that tally were minimal and he only helped his standing on the short list of pitchers Ramsey will likely turn to in tight situations over the season’s final month.

“Pitching’s pretty easy, you’ve just got to throw it across the plate and make the hitter work,” Hill said. “I told (Ramsey) ‘Put me in and I’ll throw strikes.’ They told me at the beginning of the year I’m only going to come in in close games and tight situations, so I knew what I was going into.”

Hill helped defensively as well. Third base is new to him this season, but he made good contributions with a couple of exceptional plays Monday, including turning a 5-3 (third base to first base) double play to end a second inning that was quickly becoming troublesome.

Vinny Vega recorded just one out but earned the win, allowing two runs on two hits, two walks and a hit batter across the third and fourth innings. He entered in relief of starter Sam Stepp, who pitched 2 2/3 innings and exited with a pair of runners on in the third.

Jase Chastain put the Cats up 1-0 in the second with a line-drive home run that looped over the wall in right-center field, but LaFayette tied the game in the third as Elliott sent the ball up the middle, underneath Stepp’s glove and through a sliver between the middle infielders, allowing J.T. Snider — who had reached on a two-out double — to score. Dalton took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom half of that inning, going up 4-1 behind Cole Shelton’s double, Hill’s bases-loaded walk and Brock Nelson’s sacrifice fly.

LaFayette scored twice in the fourth to trim Dalton’s lead to one, and the Cats’ final run came in the fourth as Charlie Martin’s sacrifice fly brought home Jake Roberts, who led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on Maddux Houghton’s single. LaFayette scored its final run on Brandon Buck’s sacrifice fly in the fifth.

In addition to Vega, Hill and Stepp (one run, four hits, four walks, hit batter, one strikeout), Dalton pitched Dakota Tankersley (1 inning, one run, no hits, two walks, three strikeouts) and Shaw Richardson (1 1/3 inning, no runs, no hits, two walks, hit batter, two strikeouts).

Ramsey said he wasn’t overly concerned about the amount of pitchers he used or the amount of pitches they threw Monday, when the Cats struggled to stay ahead in the count even when they weren’t issuing free passes.

“We’ve still got kids who can throw and we’ll be fine,” he said. “We’ve just got to get back to where we’re setting the tone on the mound.”

Houghton finished 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and a run, while Martin drew a walk and had a pair of sacrifices.

LaFayette used four pitchers, with Matthew Seay (1/3 inning, three runs, one hit, two walks, no strikeouts) taking the loss after entering in third in relief of Boss, who started. Buck had the best showing for the Ramblers, allowing no runs as he worked the final three innings with four hits, no walks and three strikeouts.

Text Only
Dalton High School Catamounts
  • NW_DHS Swimming 6 mlh.jpg Todd leaving DHS swim after 16 years

    Throughout his 17 years with the Carpet Capital Aquatic Club and his 16 years with the Dalton High and Dalton Middle School swim programs, Charles Todd has received looks and offers from other areas.
    But with his youngest child Chase still in school and his wife playing a major role in the Whitfield County Division of Family and Children Services, Todd wasn’t looking to make a move.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7on7 championship game6.jpg Bringing in the best

    When high school football coaches look for events to take their teams to during the summer, they are looking for three things — top competition, organization and hospitality.
    For The Daily Citizen’s Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship, the Dalton community and local business leaders take care of the latter. The tournament officials work tirelessly to provide the organization. And the two combined assure the top competition will show up.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wil Cushman 3 mlh.jpg Cushman’s gamble is paying off

    Wil Cushman never had to worry about establishing his high school’s swimming and diving program. Dalton already had a full roster and championship history.
    His first two years at Birmingham Southern University, though, have been all about making sure the beginning wasn’t the end.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NW softball state championship file 1 mlh.jpg In the lineup again

    When Northwest Whitfield repeated as the Georgia High School Association Class 4A softball state champion last fall, that appeared to be the last time the majority of the Lady Bruins’ senior class would be teammates on the diamond.
    Now, thanks to the Stump on Sports All-Star Softball Classic, five of those six seniors will reunite to play together one more time.

    June 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Junior golf: Hicks able to hang for final round

    Despite giving up a few strokes from Monday’s opening round of 4-over-par 76, Dalton’s Landon Hicks was the only local competitor to advance to the third round of the Georgia Junior Championships.

    June 18, 2014

  • Isabel Salinas 5 mlh.jpg All-Area Spring Female Team: Salinas hoping things keep getting better and better with age

    Isabel Salinas’ freshman season for Southeast Whitfield High School’s track and field team wasn’t up to her standards, and she really isn’t sure why it ended up that way in 2013. It could have been her injuries. It could have been not being in proper shape.
    One thing Salinas, nicknamed “Izzy” by friends and coaches, does know is that her sophomore year went a lot better.

    June 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • poty seth.jpg All-Area Baseball Team and Player of the Year

    As a freshman at Northwest Whitfield High School, Seth Pierce came out of nowhere and was as dominant a pitcher as the area had. Finishing his “rookie” season with the Bruins, the left-handed Pierce led the area with nine victories — he also had one save — and showed overpowering dominance with a 9-3 record and 89 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings. He finished his first season on the hill in Tunnel Hill with a 1.71 ERA while allowing 61 hits and 23 walks. Those numbers were also recorded against competition in a higher classification as the Bruins were playing Class 4A ball when the state had just five classifications. His performance earned him honors as 2012 The Daily Citizen All-Area Baseball Player of the Year.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carlile signing 3 mlh.jpg Carlile gets a chance to grind

    As Dylan Carlile saw more and more of his peers receiving offers from college wrestling programs, he became nervous.
    The Dalton High School grappler had nothing to worry about, because when the time came, he had his choice.

    May 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • daltongirls.JPG Dalton girls finish second in Class 4A

    In the Class 4A girls state golf tournament last year, the Dalton High School team finished third at Nob North Golf Course. Monday, playing in the state championship at Waynesboro Country Club, the Lady Catamounts finished second by just two strokes.
    “There is just one more place left to win,” Dalton coach Nancy Hallsworth said. “They have the time ahead of them to do it.”

    May 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • dhs bass signing1.jpg Nelson keeps a tight line

    Multiple high school athletes from the area sign scholarships each year for baseball, basketball, football, softball, volleyball and many other sports.
    Bass fishing scholarships? There aren’t many of those.

    May 20, 2014 1 Photo