Georgia Class 6A baseball is very strong and region 6-6A could be the strongest region in the state. The Region was on display Friday night in Dalton, Ga as the host Catamounts hosted nationally ranked Allatoona (No. 19 in the Perfect Game HS Top 50) in a key region tilt.
Allatoona entered the contest with a two-game lead for first place in the region over Dalton.
It took both teams a little while to settle in as Allatoona scored two runs in the top of the first only to have Dalton answer with five runs on only two hits in the bottom of the inning for a 5-2 lead off of starting pitcher Kyle Jacobsen.
Allatoona would fight back in the third. After back-to-back singles from Blake Evans and Payton Eeles, Jacobsen used his bat to even the score 5-5 moments later with a three-run home run.
Dalton’s JP Tighe tripled and scored moments later on an RBI single by designated hitter Harrison Norman to take a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
Jacobsen would again pull the Buccaneers even with his second homer of the game, this one a booming solo shot to left center in the fifth inning. From there the squads would tussle the remainder of the night.
The region implications were enhanced when it was announced in the middle of the seventh inning that River Ridge had defeated Harrison in the normal seven innings bringing on loud cheers from the Dalton fans that filled the bleachers for senior night.
Seven innings would not be enough on this night as neither team allowed a run after the fifth inning. Dalton finally knocked Jacobsen out of the game after 91 pitches in the seventh inning. Jacobsen did not strike out a batter, allowed three walks and six runs.
In the bottom of the ninth Dalton loaded the bases with Jantzen Calvo coming to bat. Calvo singled to right field scoring Cole Shelton for the walk off RBI single off of reliever Trey Horton for the 7-6 Dalton victory.
Maddux Houghton picked up the win working two innings of relief for starter Harrison Hughes. Hughes allowed six runs, 10 hits with two strikeouts and two walks over seven innings.
Dalton (20-6) improves to 11-3 in the region while Allatoona (24-3) falls to 11-3 in the region. The second game of the two-game series is Tuesday at Allatoona. Both teams split with Harrison earlier this season which means region tiebreakers will could come into play depending on the result of Tuesday’s game.