Over the years the Toombs County Bulldogs and the Jeff Davis Yellow Jackets have played some very interesting games in Lyons and Hazlehurst with a lot of memorable moments for both teams. On Thursday the two Region 2 AA rivals will open up a best-of-three GHSA State Semifinal series at Jeff Davis with the winner moving on to the championship series to take on the winner of Bacon County at Elbert County.
Toombs County at Jeff Davis
Games 1 and 2- May 18- 5 p.m. Doubleheader
Game 3- May 19- 6 p.m.
This season the Yellow Jackets swept the Bulldogs in a pair of games during the fourth week of the region schedule. JD won 5-3 in nine innings in Lyons and 10-0, in six innings, two days later in Hazlehurst.
Since the 2007 season Jeff Davis leads the series 14-4. However, eight of those were close wins for the Yellow Jackets. On JD win was decided by two runs, four by one run, two games went to extra innings and the Yellow Jackets won one with a walk-off homer,
Bulldog highlights over the years:
2017- Lane Adams and D.R. Meadows each had two hits and the two pitched nine innings against the Yellow Jackets and allowed only one earned run in Lyons.
2013- James Ethredge limited the Yellow Jackets to five hits and did not allow an earned run as the Toombs County Bulldogs won a key Region 2 game 5-1 at Jacky Jones Field. James struck out 11 batters and he did not yield a walk.
2011- Jonathan Salter, who struck out twice against lefty Jesse Deats, jumped on the first pitch from right-hander Stephen Ferris and drove it more than 352 feet over the 16-foot high “Blue Monster” in right center field at Jeff Davis. Salter’s second career homer.
2010- Stacy Cheshire highlighted the game with his sixth inning grand slam. Javec King hit a double and a two-run triple. Berry Aldridge stroked two doubles including a two-run shot in the first. Lance Mosley and Blake Butcher each singled in a run in the second in a 12-6 win at JD.
2009- Freshman Berry Aldridge hit a solo home run over the left field fence in the the fourth inning to tie the game at four. In the sixth Neal Rodgers hit a two-run homer to right to put the Bulldogs up 6-5 and then in the sixth Justin Adams hit a two run double to give TCHS an 8-6 advantage. The Bulldogs won 10-6 in Lyons.
2008- Justin Adams hit his fifth of the season and Taylor Dowd his first for Toombs County in an 11-10 loss at JD..
2007- Justin Adams and Dustin Wright each homered in the second inning in a 6-5 loss at Jeff Davis.
2004- The Bulldogs were trying to make the playoffs with a late season run and they needed a win at JD. Thomas Akins drove in all four runs. Chuck Hill was the winning pitcher and freshman Jared Allen earned a save. However, the hero of the game, the one who got the water bath in the parking lot, was Rooster. With the Dawgs leading 4-3, with one down and a runner on base, in the bottom of the seventh the left fielder may have robbed Blake Medders of a walk-off two run homer with a leaping catch at the fence.
The Bulldogs won the game and made the playoffs. They lost to Bacon County in two straight games in the opening round of the playoffs. That Raider team went on to beat Jeff Davis to win the Class AA State Championship.
Listen to Rooster’s catch
Ogilvie strokes 3 hits and yields 2 in JD’s 10-0 win
Jeff Davis rallies in the late innings and beats the Bulldogs in extra innings
Loss at JD relegates TCHS to 4th
One day after they qualified for the GHSA State playoffs the Toombs County Bulldogs lost to Jeff Davis 8-2, on the road, relegating them to a fourth place finish in Region 2. TCHS will match up with Region 4 champion Bleckley County in the first round of the playoffs in Cochran. The best of three series will begin on Friday, May 2 with a doubleheader..
The Yellow Jackets scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first with two outs. William Browning hit a double and Brett Wilcox and Brandon Shroeder each drove in a run with a base hit. Browning hit a solo home run over the Blue Monster in center field in the third to give the Jackets a 3-0 lead. The Armstrong Atlantic signee also hit a two-run homer, over the left field fence, off the Bulldogs earlier in the season.
The Dawgs rallied up two runs in the fourth. Christian Moore (0-for-3) walked, James Ethredge (1-for-2) singled and Jeremy Beasley (0-for-1 with two walks) walked. Tyler Luke (0-for-1) hit a sacrifice fly close to the fence in left to score one run and Ben Brantley (2-for-3) singled in the Dawgs final run.
Jeff Davis put the game away in the bottom of the fourth. Curt Nelms drove in a run with a grounder to short, Tanner Wright singled in a pair of runs and Drew Johns hit a drive deep to center field which Chris Mobley hauled in on a fine running catch near the fence. Jace Ryles hit a double to drive in the Jackets final run in the fifth.
13 K’s do not lead to win
For the second straight start against the Jeff Davis, Toombs County senior pitcher James Ethredge struck out 11 Yellow Jackets. In 2013 he accomplished it in seven innings leading his team to a 5-1 victory. On Thursday it took him an inning less to match that total plus reliever Jeremy Beasley struck out two more in the seventh. However, this time the Bulldogs lost to Jeff Davis 6-1 in a Region 2 opener for both teams at Jacky Jones Field. The reason- the Yellow Jackets maximized their scoring opportunities while the Bulldogs blew most of theirs.
Jeff Davis scored three runs in the first on a grounder by Drew Johns, a RBI double to deep center by William Browning and a single by Brett Wilcox. Johns, who entered the game with a .417 batting average went 0-for-3 against Ethredge for the second game. The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, with one out, and did not score.
Ethredge clamped down on the Yellow Jackets after the first inning retiring them three-up, three-down with two strikeouts in the second and then after issuing a leadoff walk in the third he induced two pop ups to Bailey Salter at short and struck out his fourth Jacket. The Dawgs left runners on first and third in the second and had a single off Logan McLoon in the third and fourth. In the fifth, while Ethredge was striking out the three, five and six hitters, the Bulldogs were creating another opportunity for a big inning.
Hunter Braddy led off with a walk and then freshman Hogan White (2-for-3 with a walk) doubled to deep right. Ethredge followed with a infield hit which scored Braddy. However, McLoon ended the threat with a pickoff and two strikeouts. Ethredge ended his night on the mound with a three-up, three-down sixth featuring a fly ball to right and his tenth and eleventh strikeout.
Jeff Davis scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh on a two-run home run way over the left field fence by Browning, who was 2-for-4.
James Ethredge controls the Yellow Jackets in 5-1 win
James Ethredge, pitching his first varsity game against Jeff Davis, limited the Yellow Jackets to five hits and did not allow an earned run as the Toombs County Bulldogs won a key Region 2 game 5-1 at Jacky Jones Field. For the second time this season the junior struck out 11 batters he (also struck out 11 at ATCO) and he did not walk one as he improved his record to 5-1.
The Bulldogs scored all five of their runs on two out base hits. Logan Martin (2-for-2) singled in a run in the fourth and Bailey Salter (1-for-3) singled in two in the same frame. In the fifth, Hunter Braddock (1-for-2), who moved from first to fourth in the lineup, singled in two runs. The Bulldogs are 9-5 and 6-4 in the region.
Another one-run loss for the Bulldogs
The second week of the regular season was a week of one-run games for the Toombs County High School Bulldogs. They played three and lost two including a 4-3 defeat at Jeff Davis to open up their 18 game Region 2 schedule.
Winning games at the Yellow Jackets fantastic field is never easy for the Bulldogs. In 2011 they lost 6-5, in eight innings, on a two-out wild pitch. In 2012 left hand hitting Drew Johns hit a walk-off three run homer to give JD a 7-4 win. What made the 2013 version of this rivalry so frustrating for the Bulldogs was they out hit the Yellow Jackets ten to five and yet they lost by one run.
The Bulldogs stroked two hits off JD starter Brandon Schroeder in the first. Hunter Braddock (1-for-4) and Cody Dowd (2-for-4) each singled. However, the Bulldogs started the game leaving runners on second and third.
In the bottom of the first inning the first two Yellow Jacket batters reached on a walk and an infield hit. Jeff Davis scored the first run of the game on a wild pitch and the second on a run scoring hit by the Yellow Jackets big stick. Johns, who was 3-for-3 singled, with two down.
The Bulldogs scored their first run in the third on a two-out single, up the middle, by third baseman James Ethredge (2-for-3 with a walk). The junior leads the team with six RBI’s. Hunter Braddy (1-for-4) led off the inning with a single and scored his fourth run of the season. Jeff Davis built up a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly to right center by Tanner Wright and two-out run scoring double by Brett Wilcox.
After the third inning the Yellow Jackets had only two more hits off TCHS starting pitcher Hunter Braddock. The senior right hander threw six innings and struck out seven batters.
In the sixth inning the Bulldogs loaded up the bases with three singles by Ethredge, Christian Moore (2-for-3) and Levi Alyea (1-for-3). Brandon Beckum (1-for-2) drew the first walk off Schroeder to cut the JD lead to 4-3. The Bulldogs left the bases loaded in that frame. TCHS left eight runners on base including five in scoring position.
In the seventh the Yellow Jackets changed pitchers and brought Johns in to close the game. The right handed thrower retired the first two Dawgs on grounders with just three pitches. Ethredge drew a walk and scored on a Dowd Hit. With Cody at second Martin jumped on the first pitch and hit it the opposite way toward the right field line. Second Baseman Hunter Beck ran to the line and made a leaping catch just in foul territory to end the game. Beck also was the middle man in a 5-4-3 double play to end the fourth inning.
Another Bad Friday for the Bulldogs
For the second straight Friday the Toombs County Bulldogs took a 4-3 lead in to the seventh inning and lost a Region 2 game. The Jeff Davis Yellow Jackets tied the game in the seventh on a RBI double in to the left field corner by William Browning and then completed the comeback when left handed hitting first baseman Drew Johns hit a three-run homer over the right field fence giving Jeff Davis a 7-4 home, walk-off victory. A Bulldog error helped set the table when leadoff hitter Kristopher Kirkland reached on a pop up near the first base bag. Last Friday the Bulldogs had a 4-3 lead going to the top of the seventh and ended up losing to Vidalia 7-6 in eight innings.
The Bulldogs led most of this game which was plagued by defensive miscues by both teams. Brandon Driggers hit a grounder in the first inning that tallied the Dawgs an unearned run. TCHS starting pitcher Jeremy Beasley kept the Yellow Jackets off the scoreboard until the fourth inning when Browning was hit by a pitch and Kolby Land followed by blasting a fastball over the left field fence to put JD up 2-1.
Toombs rallied in the fifth and scored three runs to jump up 4-2. Bailey Salter and Berry Aldridge each singled with one out. James Ethredge singled in a run and Beasley hit a grounder to short that scored two runs- one earned and the other unearned on a throw that got a way. The Yellow Jackets made it a 4-3 Bulldog lead on a Browning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth.
Beasley pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed seven hits with five strikeouts and just one walk. However, for the second straight start he took a tough loss to drop to 2-3 on his sophomore season. Beasley pitched seven innings at Long County and did not allow an earned run and still wound up a 2-1 loser.
Battling Bulldogs come up short in 7-5 loss
The Yellow Jackets surged to their first lead by scoring a run in the second on a two-out single by Bradley Miles who dueled starting pitcher Bailey Salter by fouling off a series of 3-2 pitches. JD added two more runs in the third on back-to-back doubles by Brett Miles (2-for-3 with a RBI) and Will Browning (2-for-3 with two doubles and a RBI) to lead off the frame and a sacrifice fly by Drew Johns.
Jeff Davis increased it’s lead to 5-2 in the fourth by stroking two hits and scoring two runs on a bases loaded walk by Browning and a sacrifice fly to left by Kolby Land. The Bulldogs started their comeback in the bottom of the fourth. Matthew Hall singled, Levi Alyea laid down a sacrifice bunt and Bailey Salter doubled in Hall. Ethredge jumped on a 3-1 fastball and lined it in to left to score Salter and the Dawgs were down by one. In the fifth Efrain Quinterro singled in Jeremy Beasley, who walked, to make it a 5-5 game.
The Yellow Jackets regained the lead in the sixth by stringing together three straight hits. Kristopher Kirkand tripled in a run and Brett Miles singled in one.
In the seventh down to their last strike, TCHS made it interesting. Brandon Driggers and Quinterro each drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Then on a 3-2 offering pinch hitter Trey Wingate hit a grounder to the left side on the infield and that is when the ball hit Moore to end the comeback.
Bulldogs playoff hopes are slipping away
Its not over. But, with a 3-0 home loss to Jeff Davis combined with Brantley County’s 7-5 loss to Pierce, the Toombs County Bulldogs have just one chance to make the playoffs. The Dawgs, who are 7-7 in Region 2, have to win their final two games at home versus McIntosh County Academy (Tuesday) and on the road at Tattnall County (Friday) and Brantley (8-5) would have to lose it’s final three games- at Appling County (Monday), at Long County (Tuesday) and at home to Appling on Friday. That scenario would give Toombs the fourth seed out of Region 2. Video
For the third straight region game (Vidalia and Appling County prior) the Bulldogs were limited to just four hits, this time by two Jeff Davis pitchers. Right hand starter Alan Browning no-hit the Bulldogs until Berry Aldridge singled with one out in the fourth. The Bulldogs best chances to score came in the fifth and the seventh. In the fifth Patrick Craft led off with a walk and Alex Akins stroked a one-out single. However, two Bulldog hitters were called out on strikes TCHS ended up leaving runners on second and third.
Toombs smashed two more hits in the seventh. Brett Jernigan doubled with two-down and then Alex Akins followed with a single to left. But the game ended on Akins hit when the throw toward home plate from Brett Miles sailed up the first base line and pitcher Jesse Deats threw to second and second baseman Hunter Beck tagged Alex out.
Jeff Davis scored two runs in the second inning on a leadoff solo home run by catcher Matthew Carter. Miles and leadoff hitter Kody Waters stroked back-to-back doubles to score the other run. Browning hit a sacrifice fly deep to right field to score the Yellow Jackets final run with nobody out in the fifth.
Lance Mosley pitched four innings and allowed seven hits and three earned runs with two strikeouts and two walks. Brett Jernigan pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up a hit with two walks and one strikeout. Ryan Davis tossed 1 1/3 innings hitless with one strike out. For the Yellow Jackets Browning picked up the win by throwing five innings of two-hit ball with five strikeouts and two walks. Deats threw the final two frames and allowed two hits and had one strikeout.
Another Bulldog game goes eight
There are a lot of sayings in baseball. However, is there one that says everything has to be even-steven? On Friday the Bulldogs nipped Appling County 13-12 in eight innings and Toombs scored three runs on wild pitches. On Tuesday night, in Hazlehurst, Jeff Davis tied the game on a wild pitch in the seventh inning and then won the Region 2 grudge match 6-5, in the eighth, on a two-out wild pitch.
The Bulldogs weren’t playing their A-game on defense in the first two innings as they made four errors and allowed three unearned runs and they fell behind 4-1. Toombs scored it’s run in the top of the second on a two-out run scoring double by Evan Adams (2-for-4).
The Bulldogs, once again, had a productive sixth inning. Blake Butcher (2-for-3) led off with a single. Then with one-out Jonathan Salter, who struck out twice against lefty Jesse Deats, jumped on the first pitch from right hander Stephen Ferris and drove it more than 352 feet over the 16-foot high “Blue Monster” in right center field. Salter’s second career homer tied the game at four.
The Bulldogs’ sixth continued with an Alex Akin’s double- the senior second baseman was 3-for-4. Adams reached on an infield hit and then Brett Jernigan singled through the left side scoring Akins to put TCHS up 5-4.
Lance Mosley, starting his first game of the season on the mound, pitched six innings for the first time in his Bulldog career. He allowed four hits and an unearned run in his first two innings and then just one hit after that and he picked off Kodi Waters (2-for-3 with a walk) in the fourth after his two-out single.
Ryan Davis took over on the hill in the seventh and he walked Waters, the leadoff hitter, who scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. Then after the Bulldogs went four-up, three-down in the top of the eighth with an Akin’s single. Alex Martinez reached on a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth and the Yellow Jackets scored the game-winner on a two-out wild pitch.
Bulldogs end home schedule with 2nd loss
On Senior Day the Toombs County Bulldogs (20-2) suffered just their second loss of the season. The Jeff Davis Yellow Jackets opened up a 6-0 and held on to an 8-7 win in Lyons. The Bulldogs started their rally in the second inning when Tyler Wilds singled in a run and Patrick Craft drove another one in with a sacrifice fly. Brett Jernigan doubled in a run in the third and then in the fourth TCHS scored four more. Lance Mosley doubled in a run, senior Javec King (3-for-3) doubled in two and Jernigan (2-for-3) singled in the Bulldogs final run. Senior Justin Meadows went 2-for-3 and senior Stacy Cheshire was 1-for-4.
Bulldogs swing hard in JD win
The Toombs County Bulldogs stroked six extra base hits and scored four runs in the first, second and sixth innings in a 12-6 victory at Jeff Davis. Stacy Cheshire highlighted the game with his sixth inning grand slam. Javec King hit a double and a two-run triple. Berry Aldridge stroked two doubles including a two-run shot in the first. Lance Mosley and Blake Butcher each singled in a run in the second. Mosley was the starting and winning pitcher after throwing four innings in which he did not allow an earned run. Ryan Davis pitched the final three innings and struck out four Yellow Jackets.
Late game power sparks comeback
Two Bulldog home run swings
The Toombs County Bulldogs pulled away from Jeff Davis with their late game power in a 10-6 win in Lyons. Freshman Berry Aldridge hit a solo home run over the left field fence in the the fourth inning to tie the game at four. In the sixth Neal Rodgers hit a two-run homer to right to put the Bulldogs up 6-5 and then in the sixth Justin Adams hit a two run double to give TCHS an 8-6 advantage. Taylor Dowd stroked a two-run single to wrap up the scoring. Brett Jernigan was the winning pitcher in relief and he is now 4-1. The Bulldogs eighth come-from-behind victory improved their record to 12-4.
Bulldogs stage another 7th inning rally
Down 7-1 after the first inning and 9-7 going to the top of the seventh the Toombs County Bulldogs pulled out their seventh come-from-behind victory of the season. Josh Allen’s two-out run scoring single scored Bryan Benton and pushed the Bulldogs past Jeff Davis 10-9 on the road.
The Bulldogs stroked five doubles and Justin Adams hit his fourth home run of the season and the sixteenth of his career. Neal Rodgers relieved Jonathan Salter and pitched the final two innings and picked up the first win of his senior season. The Bulldogs survived despite making a season-high four errors.
Bulldogs let another one slip away
For the third time this season the Toombs County baseball team has let a lead of six or more runs slip away as the Bulldogs lost at Jeff Davis 11-10. Toombs County scored five runs in the top of the fifth to take an 8-2 lead. However, the Yellow Jackets scored nine unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth. There were five home runs in the game. Justin Adams hit his fifth of the season and Taylor Dowd his first for Toombs County. Casey Wilcox, Kelly Williams and Stephen Farris all homered for Jeff Davis and for Williams it was his eighth of the season.
Nine run 2nd dooms Bulldogs in season opener
Weeks of hard working, preparing for the season, were squashed in the second inning when the Toombs County Bulldogs walked six Jeff Davis batters, made two errors and yielded two hits which allowed the Yellow Jackets to score nine runs in what turned out to be a 10-0 JD win in five innings in Lyons.
The Bulldogs were no-hit by lefthander Kelly Williams for the first four innings, however, Josh Sikes ended the no-hitter by singling to left field on a two-strike pitch. Williams wound up with a one-hitter with eight strikeouts, no walks and two hit batsmen. Bulldog pitchers allowed eight walks and five hits and struck out five. Trey Mosley, who pitched three innings, had a three-up and three-down third and Neal Rodgers pitched one inning and struck out three batters, walked one and allowed one hit.
Bulldogs lose a close one at Jeff Davis
The Toombs County Bulldogs had six extra base hits between the second and the fourth inning and took a 3-0 and 5-2 lead. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs they didn’t field the ball as efficiently as they hit it. Five Toombs County errors helped Jeff Davis come back and win the game 6-5. The Yellow Jackets scored four runs in the sixth.
Justin Adams and Dustin Wright each homered in the second inning. Adams hit the first pitch of the second over the right field fence and Wright hit a two-run homer over the center field fence. For each it was their second long ball of the season. Cody Williams hit two doubles and drove in two runs. Seth Stroud and Jared Allen also each had a double. Allen stepped up in the seventh with runners on second and third and two outs and hit a deep drive to right field which was caught by a diving Kelly Williams for the game’s final out.