March 4, 2014

Prep roundup: Early trouble doesn’t stop Dalton in win vs. Colts

For half an inning Tuesday night, Dalton High School’s baseball team forgot how to properly handle a bunted ball.

Luckily for the Catamounts, they still knew how to hit.

The Cats handed three runs to Coahulla Creek in the top of the first, but led by Jase Chastain’s 3-for-3 day at the plate, Dalton scratched back to take a 6-4 win in the non-region contest.

Misplaying a pair of bunts to go along with a pair of errors, Dalton (2-2) gave Coahulla Creek a 3-0 lead in the first, but that did little to stop the Cats, who chipped away at that lead.

“What I have seen early on from this team is that they are a battling team,” Dalton coach Shane Ramsey said. “Maybe last year, they would have had a bad first inning and it would have led to bigger problems. This group just wants to figure out a way to make up for it. That was what they did tonight.”

Dalton’s Kaleb Hill doubled to lead off the bottom of the first, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a passed ball. In the second, Chastain had a one-out double down the left-field line, stole third and came in on Maddox Houghton’s grounder to first.

The Colts (1-3) led 3-2 midway through the fourth before Dalton went ahead for good.

Cole Shelton led the inning off with a double to left-center, and Grant Sane took advantage of a second chance by drawing a walk after his pop fly in foul territory near third fell harmlessly to the ground. Cleanup hitter Jake Roberts followed with a single to left, which slipped past Levi Wilson, and Shelton and Sane scored for a 4-3 Dalton lead.

Chastain followed with a single to left, and Roberts came home from second.

“Not every game you lose is because you play bad,” Coahulla Creek coach Michael Bolen said. “We felt like we had a few opportunities and couldn’t capitalize, but Dalton got the hits when they needed them. The good thing is that the defense was a plus, but we are just trying to get confident at the plate.”

Fittingly, Chastain scored the last run of the night, leading off the bottom of the sixth with a single to left and scoring on Tucker Sumner’s single to right.

Coahulla Creek leadoff hitter Hayden Lock went 3-for-4, getting half of the Colts’ hits.

Dalton pitchers Sam Stepp and Shelton gave up just three hits after the first, and Coahulla Creek’s Erick Dominguez had a solid night as well, giving up six hits and striking out five in five innings on the mound.

Stepp earned the win, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Shelton struck out four in 2 1/3 innings, allowing one hit and no walks.

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