As Blake Marbut recorded the final out of the game, Winder-Barrow High School coach Brian Smith raced out of the dugout to congratulate his pitcher on a strong performance against No. 2-ranked Gainesville Tuesday.
Marbut went the distance, throwing a total of 118 pitches, in recording the victory as the Diamond Doggs stunned Gainesville 7-2 at Charles W. Maddox Complex.
The win was big as the Red Elephants had defeated WBHS last week and with such a loaded Region 8-AAAAA this spring, the Bulldoggs needed to earn a season split with Gainesville.
“This was big,” Smith said. “After our game with them last week they came in here today not respecting us. They are not used to losing which why they are in the outfield running right now.”
Gainesville entered Tuesday’s game 9-0. Last season, the Red Elephants were undefeated until the third round of the state playoffs in Class AAA. Gainesville took two steps up in classification this school year.
For WBHS, sophomore Cole Baggett put on a hitting display going 4-for-4 with a homerun, double, two singles and an RBI. His effort at the plate, combined with Marbut’s pitching, were key roles.
“I can’t even describe how well Cole has been performing,” Smith said. “He has been the catalyst for our offense so far this season.”
The WBHS coach also praised Marbut for his pitching performance Tuesday.
“He settled in nicely after they took an early lead,” Smith said. “It was a great effort against a very good team.”
The game was originally scheduled for Monday but the contest was called after only two outs had been recorded due to thunderstorms which moved into the area.
In Tuesday’s game, Gainesville took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first but the Bulldoggs cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning. WBHS scored its first run when Baggett, who had doubled to reach base, was balked home.
After leaving the bases loaded in the second, the Bulldoggs scored three runs in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly by Patrick Overstreet, an RBI single by Christian Hodge and an RBI single by Jake Frady.
Baggett had a solo homer in the fifth and a wild pitch allowed Baggett and Dalton Carter to score in the bottom of the sixth.