Thomasville Times Enterprise

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March 27, 2014

Diamond 'Dogs shut out at Taylor County

THOMASVILLE —

Bulldogs coach Erik McDougald said he thinks his players have a more paramount respect for Major League Baseball players after the week Thomasville has endured.

The Bulldogs have played three games in the past three days, capped with Thursday’s 4-0 road loss to Taylor County.

“I don’t care about the money,” McDougald said. “It is hard for a player to get their mind right to be that mentally focused every single day.”

Thomasville dropped two of the three games, including Tuesday’s gut-wrenching region defeat to Cook County. The Bulldogs bounced back to win on Wednesday against Seminole County, but fell again in Thursday’s shut out.

Zach Zolt, who hadn’t tossed from the mound until this past offseason, made his pitching debut for Thomasville. Zolt threw all seven innings and allowed the four runs on just four hits – all of which came in the first two innings.

“After that, he pitched very effectively,” McDougald said. “Coming out of the gate like that and giving up a few early in the game, he really settled down for a kid that hasn’t pitched much until this year.”

McDougald said he plans to keep Zolt, a junior, in the rotation mix next year when Thomasville will play region tilts in three-game spurts.

“It’s already in the back of my head,” he said.

The Bulldogs were unable to cross the plate on Thursday and only accounted for two hits. But Thomasville also minimized strikeouts to two.

McDougald said patience is key when it comes to his offense.

“The big thing is not to press,” he said. “The box score might not show it, but we’re putting the ball in play. Their guys just made defensive stops.”

McDougald will give the players the weekend off and return to practice on Monday before Tuesday’s region tilt at home against Fitzgerald.

Thomasville (8-7, 2-3) will look to pull to .500 in 1-AA with just under a month remaining in the regular season.

“For a high school kid, three games in three days is hard to have that mental focus,” he said. “Especially with some of the closest games we’ve had all season.”

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