Last year the Final Four Toombs County Bulldog baseball team opened up their season with a 16-7 scrimmage win at Liberty County. Seven Dawgs who played in that game have moved on. However, seven who either swung the stick or pitched, took the field in the 2018 season opening scrimmage against Liberty and the result was quite similar with the new look Bulldogs winning 12-2.
The game was originally scheduled for Lyons, but it was moved to Hinesville because Jacky Jones Field was to wet to play on.
Seven Bulldogs pitched in the seven inning game and six did not allow a run or unearned run. Liberty was limited to seven singles and no extra base hits while striking out eight times and walking three times. Brock Harrison struck out the side is his one inning of work and Trey Cloud, who struck out a pair of LIberty batters last year, struck out two once again. However, this time the sophomore did not allow a run. Cole Graham pitched a scoreless frame with a strikeout, Martin Stephens pitched one with a walk, Dalton McBride tossed one with a strikeout and a walk and Brandon Dennis threw a scoreless inning with two hits and a strikeout.
At the plate the Bulldogs also had seven hits. However, they walked six times, got hit by seven pitches and they stole four bases. Stephens, who batted .500 during the state playoffs as a junior, led the TCHS offensive attack with a 3-for-4 game which included a pair of doubles, a single, a walk, three runs scored and three runs batted in. Fellow senior Willie Campbell also had a multi-hit game going 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a RBI. McBride and Kyle Knight each drove in two runs.
The Bulldogs scored seven runs in the second inning. Campbell hit two singles to center in the inning and scored a run and drove in one.
“We threw seven different pitchers, who all threw it very well,” head coach Brian Fitzgerald said. “Offensively Martin Stephens picked up where he left off hitting the ball hard three times and Willie Campbell had two hits. We took advantage of some Liberty County pitching and defensive mistakes to score seven in the second and go up 9-0. From there it was basic cruise control. We have got have better approach at the plate. Took strike three too many times and swung at multiple pitches out of the zone. As a whole it was a very encouraging sign from our pitchers that we threw strikes and limited walks and our catchers looked great with all three throwing out base runners. If we get the offensive rolling we could be trouble.”