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Halliday hit helps ’Dawgs dump Rebels; BHS wins 3

For Bearden’s Dawson Halliday, baseball is more than just a game.

The junior utility player gave the Bulldogs a 5-4 lead with an RBI double in the fifth inning and Bearden went on the beat Maryville 8-4 Thursday, April 19, at Maryville College’s Scotland Yard.

The hit couldn’t have come at a better time for Halliday. Not only because he has been in a slump as of late but because it was a positive way to take his mind off of his other coach, football skipper Bill Wilson, who died following a heart attack April 16 (see story, page 2).

“It’s good to get out here, play and have some fun after all that is going on,” said Halliday, who is also the starting quarterback on the football team. “It’s a hard thing to go through with the team, but it’s good to have a game like baseball to come out here and have some fun. Coach Wilson used to always come and watch us too, so it’s good. And I love this game.”

Bearden (20-10, 9-5 entering the week) took a 1-0 lead after junior first baseman Bryant Walker drove in Justin Miller with a double. Maryville responded with two runs of their own to take a 2-1 lead after one. The Rebels put two more runs on the board in the second inning with three Bearden errors to go up 4-1 after two.

“We had some kind of weird plays there early that were unfortunate,” Bearden head coach Matt Buckner said. “They are a pretty good ballclub and I am proud of our guys.”

Despite the lack of defense early, Bulldogs senior Drake Little kept his composure on the mound and completed the game with little trouble after the early mishaps.

“I was a little hesitant at first, but we played really good,” Little said. “We had a couple of mishaps and I got a little frustrated, but coach gave me a talk before the game and felt like I kept it together pretty good.”

The right-hander scattered nine hits while striking out four.

“I’m proud of the way Drake pitched, and he needed that for his confidence,” Buckner said. “He’s got good stuff.”

Bearden tied the game in the fourth inning with an RBI single from Jonathon Byrd and a two-run double from Matt Scruggs.

Halliday’s run-scoring double the following inning gave Bearden the lead and Byrd followed the effort by driving in Halliday with a single to put the Bulldogs up 6-4.

“It was big for us for him,” Buckner said about Halliday’s hit. “He has really been struggling a little bit and it was really big for him to come up. He is one of our better hitters and we need him going, and it’s the right time to get going, so I’m happy to see that.”

Bearden added two more runs in the seventh on consecutive infield RBI singles from Halliday and Byrd. The two each went 3-for-4 on the day and combined to drive in five runs.

“I haven’t been hitting that well recently,” Halliday said. “Everybody has been carrying me and it’s nice to come back and help the team out a little bit.”


South-Doyle beat Bearden 11-1 Tuesday, April 17, at BHS. The Bulldogs trailed 2-1 heading into the fourth inning when the Cherokee bats produced eight runs to blow out BHS.

Miller hit a solo-home run in the first inning to give the Bulldogs its only run.

“We didn’t pitch or play defense to the best of our ability, and you just can’t give them a lot of help because they are a pretty good club,” Buckner said. “There ain’t many clubs that are gonna run the pitchers they can run out there at you. If you make mistakes you aren’t gonna have many chances to come back because they can pitch.”

South Doyle’s Ryan Holland got the win with a 13 strikeout, complete game performance.


The Bulldogs opened the week with a 10-0 win at Heritage. Josh Hullett pitched five innings to get the win. Miller homered and tripled to lead the offense.


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