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Blunders bounce Bulldogs from playoffs

SWEET WATER — The Bulldogs’ playoff run ended in the second round Monday after they dropped the remainder of a weather-postponed game one 7-4 before losing game two 16-9.

The Bulldogs (18-12) started the day with two out in the top of the fourth inning and Tyler Hensley on the mound, picking up where they left off when thunderstorms moved through the area Friday evening. Holy Spirit plated two in the frame to take a 5-4 lead before adding another in the fifth and one more in the seventh.

The Bulldogs went down quietly the rest of the way, getting only a single from Linc Luker in the seventh.

Luker then toed the rubber in game two, taking to the hill with a three-run advantage already in his pocket.

Michael Thompson opened the game with an infield single, moving to second on a Ladarius Dumas groundout. After Chris Landrum was hit by a pitch, Hunter Mayton made the most of the opportunity with a three-run shot that cleared the fence in left-centerfield.

Sweet Water again took advantage of Titan control problems in the second inning when Tyler Luker, Reid Lewis and Brett Davis all walked to open the inning before Thompson drew another base on balls to pick up an RBI. Dumas then pushed Lewis across with an RBI grounder. Two batters later, Mayton extended the lead to 7-0 with a two-RBI single.

The Bulldog momentum began to wane in the second inning when Sweet Water committed its first of nine errors in the contest. As did most of the others, that miscue helped lead to a Holy Spirit run, cutting the advantage to 7-1.

The Titans then utilized five Sweet Water errors in the third inning to plate help plate seven runs and take an 8-7 lead. The first two batters in the frame reached on errors before Alex Harrison hit a three-run home run, his first of two in the game. Four Titans reached base on Bulldog blunders during the frame and all four scored.

“They hit the ball hard. We had to make plays and we didn’t make plays,” Sweet Water head coach Kevin Byrd said. “We don’t really have strikeout pitchers, so if we’re not making plays, we’re not getting out of innings.”

Sweet Water battled back in the fourth when Lewis led off with an RBI single. Davis then tripled to right center, plating Lewis and tying the game at 8.

The lead was short lived as Holy Spirit pushed three across in the fourth to up the lead to 11-8 before adding four more in the fifth and another in the sixth.

Landrum laid down a bunt to open the seventh before eventually scoring the final run of Sweet Water’s season on an Eric Lynn RBI sacrifice fly.

Lynn is one of three seniors, including Mayton and Johnny Lockett, who played their final game in a Bulldog uniform Monday.

“There’s a lot of heart,” Byrd said of the trio. “They’ve always given 100 percent. And they’ve got good baseball knowledge. I hate to lose them. I’m going to miss them.”