By JOSH FRYE
J.U. Blacksher’s Peyton Wilkins helped lead the Bulldogs to a 10-0 victory over Hillcrest-Evergreen during the season opener last Tuesday, February 18.
Wilkins, starting pitcher for JUB’s Bulldogs, struck out six, gave up only one hit and walked two batters during the contest.
Freshman Josh Burkett, who ended the game on the mound for the Bulldogs, struck out six batters and walked two.
Players who scored runs for JUB were Andrew Clausell, Tucker Spence and Jake Coker (2 each), and Eli Smith, Josh Burkett, Michael Redditt and Nathan Cole (1 each).
After defeating Hillcrest-Evergreen, the Bulldogs took to the field against the Panthers of Excel last Friday, February 21.
Despite having claimed a one-sided win earlier last week, JUB was knocked off by the Panthers, 8-5.
Spence had a shaky start on the mound for the Bulldogs, giving up five hits and seven runs. He failed to strike out any batters during his 1-2/3 innings of work and walked three.
Wilkins took over pitching duties from Spence, striking out two batters and giving up one run.
Talan Daughtry came in as the closing pitcher, hurling 2-1/3 innings, walking one batter and striking out another.
Damon Rolin scored twice for JUB, and Redditt scored once.
“We are a young group,” JUB head coach Justin Mixon said. “We are attempting to grow team chemistry and effort. It is my hope that the younger guys can develop some confidence as the season progresses and get to where we want to be by the time area play begins.”
According to Mixon, the Bulldogs are in a competitive area this season and their biggest challenges will be Cottage Hill and Elberta.
Spence, Redditt, Rolin and Wilkins are sliding into leadership roles this season as play progresses. Mixon said Smith and Burkett will provide a large amount of production for the younger players on the roster.
Spence, Wilkins, Daughtry, Peavy and Burkett are expected to provide strong arms on the mound that will give the Bulldogs the chance to be a contender.
The Bulldogs will host Monroe County this Friday, February 28.