The 2017 baseball season has been a roller-coaster of sorts for the Dawson County Tigers, but things seem to be shaping up at the right time.
“There’s always an ebb and flow to a season,” says second-year head coach Dwayne Sapp.
“We played well early, then we hit a little skid, but some of that is due to injuries…some of it was due to the teams we played.”
The Tigers started the year 5-0 before mixing in a pair of three-game losing streaks. However, starting with a huge region win over region leading GAC to salvage a three-game set has propelled the Tigers to date.
Dawson is in the midst of a six-game win streak in which they have scored 66 runs. The offense has scored 151 runs overall, tops in the region.
“[We’re] just finding out where some of the kids fit in the lineup,” says Sapp. “There’s a lot you can attribute it to – a lot of it has to do with a jelling of the team.”
While the offense has been incredible (with eight 10-plus run outputs on the season), the pitching as of late is equally dominant. Dawson has held opponents to a total of two runs in the last four games combined. After last season’s 22-9 campaign that stretched to the Sweet 16 in the state playoffs, other teams are going after the Tigers this time, as they have the proverbial “target on the back.”
“We seem to be getting a lot of people’s best this year,” adds Sapp. “We’re not a surprise team like we were last year.”
With GAC leading the region, and state-ranked North Hall sitting in the second spot in 7-AAA, the Tigers would like to be in the top two, which would ensure a home playoff series. Dawson County needs just a couple more wins to lock down a state playoff spot. Another deep run could be in the cards again this season.
“Getting everyone healthy [is the key] – We need to keep swinging the bat well, because we’re going to have to score a lot of runs,” says Sapp.
But locking down a playoff spot is not the end goal for the Tigers. The Trojans of North Hall will be the final opponents on the schedule for Dawson, as they play a three-game set with two in Dawsonville. That series will be a battle and will have playoff seeding and perhaps a region title on the line.
“Get to that North Hall series with a chance – that’s all we want!” exclaims Sapp.