One wild pitch in the fifth inning was all Berrien needed to secure a 1-0 win over host Thomasville on Tuesday.
Other than that, it was an evening of clean and competitive baseball on a warm South Georgia night.
“We stood tall tonight,” said Bulldogs coach Erik McDougald. “They were able to take advantage of a two out hit, and is a game that’s determined by what you do with two outs. We just couldn’t respond.”
Despite the loss, McDougald said he saw drastic offensive improvement, even though it wasn’t reflected through the score.
Thomasville mustered just four hits, but consistently made contact throughout the evening.
“You look at tonight and might think we had terrible offense, but I think we’re right on the cusp of being really good,” McDougald said. “We hit some balls really hard tonight, [Berrien] just made some great defensive plays.
“Sooner or later, when you get some really hard rips, they’re not going to go right at the defender.”
Pitching, however, was the story from Tuesday’s tilt.
Thomasville’s Peyton Dixon threw all seven innings and allowed just four hits and one walk while notching 12 strikeouts.
“Pitching was more than solid tonight,” McDougald said. “You cannot ask for a better performance than what Peyton gave us tonight. He was simply outstanding.”
Next up for Thomasville is a rivalry tilt at Cairo on Thursday.
The Bulldogs will take on a Syrupmakers squad that has won two straight, and appears to have shaken its offseason rust. McDougald said he may tweak the lineup to gauge long-term fits as the Bulldogs begin the bulk of region play.
Thomasville continues 1-AA action on Friday against Brooks County.