BY SOUTHERN BRITT
On a windy Thursday afternoon at Arrowhead Field in Watkinsville, Ga, The Oconee County varsity baseball team defeated Hebron Christian Academy 9-7 to win its 14th win of the season. The Oconee Warriors closed out the high-intensity game with Sean Hogg’s game-ending strikeout of Danny Palmer.
The Oconee Warriors were highly favored to win after a high-scoring third inning thanks to their offensive depth. Though the Lions came back late in the game by scoring five runs in the seventh inning, the Warriors’ closing pitcher shut down Hebron Christian’s chance at a comeback by striking a player out at the plate.
Notably, Hogg came in with a lot of pressure as the Lions came back in a last-minute battle for victory. Though Danny Palmer started off the team’s short-lived hopes for their seventh win with a single hit versus Warriors closing pitcher, it was also Palmer that Hogg battled to close the game down with a final strikeout. Hebron Christian had a chance to tie the game with a base hit and Hogg was able to strike the last batter out as Palmer watched the last pitch with no attempt at a swing. Though Hogg gave up several runs, he held Hebron Christian Academy enough to keep Oconee in the lead.
Oconee County’s third-inning won the game for the Warriors. Oconee’s positive offensive lead seven runs for Oconee County and created what would be an incredibly hard comeback for Hebron Christian Academy. The offensive momentum started off with Jeff Thurmond’s double against Hebron pitcher Gavin Incrocci.
“Well, i always look middle out. I was just waiting to get my pitch, got my bat out, and drove it” Thurmond exclaimed.
Thurmond’s hit led to a series of runs, including another double by Brooks Blizard.
These big hits then escalated to a grand total of five hits to bring home seven players.
After a dull second-inning, pitcher Luke Dickens attributed the Warriors shifted mindset to their team motto—“So what, now what.” Oconee’s newfound focus helped the Warriors capitalize on their entire roster’s offensive skill, and carried over into Dickens pitching.
Notably, Dickens held the Lions to two earned runs after pitching six innings. Dickens struck out five players, and helped shut down the Hebron Christian Academy Lions.
“I made sure I was loose before the game and I knew the wind would be a factor” exclaimed the Warriors star pitcher. “I knew that if I gots balls in play, my defense could make plays for me.”
Oconee County will be playing first region home series next Tuesday for their 14th win of the season.