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Halls counters ’Dawgs’ rally, BHS season ends

The Bearden baseball team didn’t have enough magic left in its tank as Halls ends the Bulldogs season, 7-5, in the Region 2-AAA semifinal game Monday, May 12, at Halls.

Bearden had its opportunities and even came back to tie it late, but in the end Halls proved to be the better team on this night.

“Baseball can be a mean game sometimes,” Bearden head coach Matt Buckner said. “It’s very frustrating.”

Matthew Scruggs scored the game’s first run on an RBI bloop single into right field off the bat of Jonathan Byrd to give the Bulldogs an early lead in the first inning.

Halls tied the game in the second inning on a J.D. Wallace sacrifice fly and took a 2-1 lead in the third on a Tyler Turner home run.

“[Halls] did a good job today,” Buckner said. “They played better than we did and I give them credit.”

A two-out RBI single in the fifth inning put the Red Devils up 3-1, and after a pitching change, a RBI double gave Halls a 4-1 lead.

Bulldogs starter Taylor Gouffon lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out five before being relieved by Andy Fennell.

The Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth inning, but came away empty.

“We didn’t do the things that we did all year to be successful,” Buckner said. “[Halls] did a good job.”

Bearden made its move in the top of the sixth as Dylan Highsmith tied the game with a two-out, three-run home run. It gave the Bulldogs life, but Halls was there to answer in the bottom half of the inning.

Daniel Dayton led off the inning with a home run, but the big blow came from a two-RBI double down the right field line to put Halls up 7-4.

“That ball down the line killed us,” Buckner said. “If we could have kept it at one I felt like we still had a good chance, but once it got to three that is a lot to ask.”

Bearden managed one run in the seventh on a misplayed ball in the outfield, but the Bulldogs couldn’t pull any more magic as their season ends with a 35-6 overall record.

“This is the best group of kids I have ever had,” Buckner said about the seniors. “They did a good job all year and I hate to see this for them. I felt like they deserve more than this, but it’s a mean game.”


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