By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
“Hoka Hey” is a slogan that the Gaston Bulldogs baseball team has on the back of their jerseys. The meaning of this Native American term is to “live life in such as way that one has done all that one should upon one’s last day, so it is indeed a good day to die!” This battle cry, made famous by Chief Crazy Horse could sum up the Gaston Bulldog’s series with the South Lamar Stallions at Gaston on Friday evening.
The Stallions hammered the Gaston starting pitchers and en route to a two-game sweep of the Bulldogs on May 4 in the quarterfinals of the Class 1A state varsity baseball playoffs.
South Lamar jumped on starting pitcher Allen Davidson for 11 runs on nine hits in only two innings to all but end the series opener. The Stallions opened the game with a run in the top of the first inning and added two more in the second.
Gaston’s Dustin Gunter and Davidson walked, followed by singles from Eddie Hamilton and Jesse Brittain to even the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the second inning.
Then the Stallions’ bats woke up.
South Lamar sent 12 men to the plate in the top of the third inning, and the first nine scored to give the visitors a 12-3 lead after three innings.
The Dawgs added two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to narrow the spread, but South Lamar added runs and an exclamation mark to the game with towering home runs by Hank Parker in the fifth and Ryan Jaynes in the seventh inning to finalize the scoring at 14-3.
Trent Wilson was the winning pitcher in game one. Wilson hurled six strong innings, while giving up five runs on five hits and recording 10 strikeouts. Gaston committed six errors in the opening game.
Gaston put up a fight in the nightcap, but dropped the match, 10-3.
In the nightcap Gaston jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Sean Love reached on a single followed by Jackson Bogle’s single. With Love heading for third, Bogle made a wide turn at first and was thrown out. Love was caught between third and home and an errant throw allowed him to score, giving Gaston a 1-0 lead.
South Lamar answered in the bottom of the second inning combining a hit, walk and an error to even the game at 1-1 after two innings.
Gaston its second lead of the game on a long home run in the top of the third inning by Jordan McCartney. This lead was only a brief one as South Lamar sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the third scoring four runs and taking a 5-2 lead. South Lamar added five more runs in the bottom of the sixth on only one hit.
Gaston added a run in the top of the seventh
Gaston ended the season with a 15-11 record, while South Lamar improved to 21-11.