Summer baseball launched into full swing with Thomasville’s Bulldog Brawl beginning on Tuesday.
This is the event’s ninth annual outing in the last ten years after taking a brief hiatus last summer.
“Last year, with the way things went, we just weren’t able to do it for whatever reason,” THS coach Erik McDougald said. “We got to talking earlier this spring about getting it back up and running, and we’re excited about it.”
This year’s contingent features eight area teams – Thomasville, Cairo, Berrien, Bain, Madison County, Tift County, Pelham and Lowndes – which is much more accommodating than the 25-plus THS used to host in years past.
McDougald recalled having to utilize much more than just the Bryant-Garner Athletic Complex to accommodate visiting teams back then.
The Brawl formerly featured games at TU’s Varnedoe Field, Thomas County Central – and as far out as Cairo.
“You’re talking about playing in every ballpark that you could find in Thomasville,” McDougald said. “This year, we’re comfortable going a little smaller with just a few games between a few teams.”
The essence of summer ball, McDougald said, is the intricate coaching that is so vital to a player’s development.
With fewer teams and more time, he said he’s able to focus more with each individual.”
“At this point, you try and get everyone some experience,” he said. “You need to get guys in that you’re going to have to use this upcoming season, test them at various positions and find your team’s strengths and weaknesses.
“That’s what summer ball is all about.”
Here is the Brawl schedule for the remaining two days:
Lowndes vs. Thomasville, noon
Lowndes vs. Cairo, 2:30 p.m.
Madison Co. vs. Cairo, 5 p.m.
Madison Co. vs. Pelham, 7:30 p.m.
Bainbridge vs. Pelham, 2 p.m.
Bainbridge vs. Cairo, 4:30 p.m.
Pelham vs. Cairo, 7 p.m.