Harlem High School's bats were hopping Tuesday. The Bulldogs scored 30 runs in two games. Christopher Rickerson/Augusta Good News
Harlem High School's bats were hopping Tuesday. The Bulldogs scored 30 runs in two games. Christopher Rickerson/Augusta Good News

Harlem scores 30 runs in two games on path to another state title

(Editor’s note: Story was updated at 11 a.m. April 25 to add information on Harlem’s next game)

HARL,EM — Harlem High School’s baseball team won both games of a doubleheader on April 23 to sweep Dougherty in the first round of the 3A Georgia High School Baseball State Playoffs.

The Bulldogs would be without top player and pitcher Will Holder for the first round of the playoffs due to illness.

“We played without our number one pitcher who has been sick and hopefully he is going to get well,” Harlem Coach Jimmie Lewis said.

Harlem began the first game with an early 5-1 lead and extended their lead to 10-1 through three innings. The Bulldogs eventually put Dougherty away 15-1 in five innings.

Harlem High School won two games Tuesday to advance in the baseball playoffs. Christopher Rickerson/Augusta Good News

In Game Two, Harlem got out to an early 3-0 lead after a couple of errors but would struggle to get hits. The Bulldogs only had one hit through four innings, but a dominant performance on mound and defensively kept Dougherty off the board. The Bulldogs scored five runs in the fifth and seven in the sixth to win 15-1 again.

“The first ball game, we drilled and hit it good. The second ball game, we were popping it up and wasn’t scoring, but we finally got some controlled swings and hit the ball like we are capable of hitting,” Lewis said. “We did what we had to do.”

Harlem is coming off winning the Region title against Morgan County. Before the Region Championship, Harlem lost to Greenbrier back on April 9.

Coach Lewis spoke on how the loss against Greenbrier was good for them and similar to when they lost last year in the region title game and eventually went on to win the state championship.

“We were 26-0 right before Greenbrier. When we got beat by Greenbrier to go to 26-1, I think that is what the doctor ordered,” Lewis said. “We needed that to refocus and show we needed to work and to show that if we don’t play, we don’t win. I know it sounds crazy, but that was good loss. And just in time like last year when we lost to Morgan for the region. It couldn’t have been a better thing.”

Harlem baseball coach Jimmie Lewis. Christopher Rickerson/Augusta Good News

Harlem will go on to host Peach County in a double header beginning at 5 p.m. Monday, April 29.

Coach Lewis said it is important to get Holder back from illness for the upcoming series and the Bulldogs must continue to be good all around to win.

“We got to get good pitching, we got to play great defense and we got to get timely hitting,” Lewis said.

Christopher Rickerson, an Augusta University graduate, has covered area sports for Augusta University, The Augusta Press and Augusta Good News. Subscribe to the Augusta Good News newsletter here.

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