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PREP BASEBALL: Redskins remain perfect in Region 8A-Public
SC Baseball
Social Circle’s Mitchell McCullough (7) nails a line drive against Lincoln County at home on Friday, April 1. - photo by Cassie Jones | The Covington News

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — For the Social Circle baseball team, the one indelible image from last season was watching region rival Commerce celebrate on Redskins Field after winning the region title.

“I know that’s something that’s really stuck with us,” said Social Circle head coach Kevin Dawkins. “When we were setting our goals for this year, among the things they wanted to do was win the region and beat Commerce.”

 The Redskins, 18-5 overall and 11-0 in Region 8-A public heading into the weekend, will have a chance to do both at the same time if they win out over the next week. They’ll play Washington-Wilkes in a three-game series Tuesday and Friday. 

 Then, the regular season will conclude with a three-game set against the Tigers, who are currently second in the league, a game behind Commerce. They are also ranked a spot behind the eighth-ranked Redskins at No. 9.

 “The idea is if we can take care of business against our next two opponents, it sets up a series for the region at our place. It should be a lot of fun.”

 Vengeance usually is.

 Based on the way it’s played so far, Social Circle is the team to beat. It boasts a 14-game winning streak, during which it’s averaging 8.3 runs a game while allowing just 1.4.

 The success is no surprise considering the Redskins returned every starter from last year’s team that finished third in the region and reached the second round of state.

 “These guys are a year older and more mature, and they are using their experiences from last year to make them better,” Dawkins said.

 On the mound, Jason Ball, the lone senior on the team, has emerged as the ace. He’s won all three of the region starts, has thrown a team-high 35 1/3 innings, and recorded 64 strikeouts.

 One of the biggest and most impactful surprises has been the emergence of Cade Richardson, a freshman who was expected to only see spot duty in blowout games. Instead, he’s become the closer.

 In 10 innings of work, he’s recorded 25 strikeouts and walked just four.

 “We didn’t see it coming, but he’s stepped in and embraced the closer's role,” Hawkins said. “It’s really made our decisions easier at the end of games.”

 At the plate, Logan Cross and Mason Moore are duking it out for the team batting title. Moore, who’s hitting leadoff, is batting .470 while Cross, hitting third, is at .469.