Sports

March 18, 2014

Freshman Stepps up

Defense, run support also key for Dalton vs. Southeast

Pitching in a league game for the first time in his high school career, Dalton freshman Sam Stepp was hoping to find a way to calm his nerves before taking the mound for the Catamounts on Tuesday at Southeast Whitfield.

His teammates found a good way to take the pressure off as soon as the game started.

In the Sub-region 7B-4A opener for both teams, the Cats scored three runs off of Southeast senior pitcher Rhett Harper in the first inning, and that was more than enough for Stepp, a left-handed off-speed specialist.

Stepp held Southeast to one run on three hits in five innings of work, and senior catcher Grant Sane was 4-for-4 with a 3-run homer, a double and five RBIs as the Cats rolled to an 11-1 win. The game ended after six innings because of the Georgia High School Association’s mercy rule.

Dalton (6-3) will host Thursday in the second of three meetings this week with the Raiders (7-3), who host again on Friday.

“Sam is giving us what he has been giving us all season long,” Dalton coach Shane Ramsey said of Stepp, who improved to 2-1. “We swung the ball well behind him and put runs on the board when we had some chances. We wanted to score early and put the pressure on them and take some of it off of Sam. I was pleased.”

While not an overpowering pitcher — Stepp had three strikeouts in the game — he was able to keep Southeast hitters off-balance with his array of off-speed pitches. In one at-bat with Southeast No. 3 hitter Blake Foster, Stepp threw four straight curveballs and two changeups off of the plate.

The Cats also did a good job defensively behind Stepp, committing just one error, so he didn’t need to challenge the Raiders.

“I wanted to keep working my off-speed pitches and working ahead in the count so I didn’t have to throw too many fastballs over the plate,” Stepp said. “I wanted to keep the ball down and not let their hitters hurt us. Getting a lead early helped, and I wasn’t nervous and just wanted to stay in control and keep my composure.”

Text Only
Sports
  • Northwest baseball standout Pierce now at Ringgold

    Seth Pierce, a former Northwest Whitfield High School athlete and two-time Daily Citizen All-Area Baseball Player of the Year, transferred to Ringgold High School this summer, Ringgold athletic director and football coach Robert Akins confirmed Monday.

    July 28, 2014

  • SE fball conditioning 1 mlh.jpg Prep football: Raiders enter preseason hoping for breakthrough

    Entering his third year as Southeast Whitfield High School’s football coach, Sean Gray believes the last obstacle is belief.
    He believes this group of Raiders has that quality.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Devin Golden: Other sports start practice this week

    Football isn’t the only high school sport during the fall — and the others are joining in this week.

    July 28, 2014

  • Three locals on NW team in state golf event

    Three local golfers — Hardin Chambless, Tori Owens and Landon Painter — played Sunday in round one of the Junior Sectional Challenge Match.

    July 28, 2014

  • DHS fball condition#1C0E6F8.jpg Prep football: Dalton enters camp well ahead of learning curve

    The joke came quick to the lips of Dalton High School football coach Matt Land when asked how the opening day of conditioning for the Catamounts went on Friday.
    “We can quit and go home,” Land said. “They have it all figured out.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hall of Fame Baseball_Chan.jpg Making a trip into town

    Frank Thomas was always driven to excel, and that sure served him well.
    “I was never that blue-chip prospect,” he said. “I had to outwork my opponents.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hall of Fame Baseball_Chan2.jpg Chris Whitfield: Memories stay with us, and go with them

    I still remember the pandemonium that broke out in the dorm at Middle Georgia College in tiny Cochran, Ga., the night of “The Slide” in the 1992 National League Championship Series. It was a fire drill, wall street-buying frenzy and a Roman toga party all in one.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deshawn Ruffin Sign#1C0E79A.jpg Dalton State College signs PG from Florida

    Dalton State College announced signing a Jacksonville, Fla., prep basketball standout to its men’s basketball team.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS vs RHS fball xtra 7 mlh.jpg Totally focused on fútbol

    In order to chase his soccer dream and continue to mature and improve in the sport that he loves so much, Dalton High School athlete Eder Mora has decided to make a sacrifice — giving up football.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Whitfield, Chris.JPG Chris Whitfield: Football fans may lose, but Mora will win with decision

    Throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to see some of the finest athletes this state has ever produced. From professional athletes who went on to the NFL, MLB and the NBA to college washouts who still rank as the finest high school athletes I have ever seen, I have been blessed.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo