By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Social Circle Redskins bring out the brooms to start region play, sweep Oglethorpe County Patriots
Social Circle Baseball 2024
Social Circle senior Landon Harpe circles second base on a extra-base hit in the Redskins 6-5 win over Oglethorpe County. - photo by Garrett Pitts

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — Bring out the brooms. Social Circle baseball triumphed three consecutive times over Oglethorpe County to storm out of the gate in Region 5A-Division I. 

The day after taking the first two games of the series 7-6 and 1-0 in a road doubleheader on Monday, the Redskins came away with a 6-5 win at home to complete the sweep.. 

Following Tuesday’s game, head coach Kevin Dawkins made sure to give credit to the Patriots’ coaching staff, who battled the Redskins in three consecutive one-run ball games.

“It was a hard fought series,” Dawkins said. “Oglethorpe is much better than they were last year. They have a brand new coach over there and he has done a great job in getting them to buy-in to what he wants them to do. In the two games last night — It was hard fought and it was a playoff atmosphere.”

Social Circle completes the sweep at home

After one-run games in the doubleheader on Monday, the theme of close games carried over to Tuesday as Social Circle came away with a 6-5 win.

Although it was close at the end, things started in the Redskins’ favor.

Brayden Allen reached on a walk after which Landon Harpe drove him in on an RBI double into the right-center gap. Two at-bats later, Harpe scored on an error by the Patriots pitcher on a failed pick-off attempt.

Luke Cross singled in another run to give the Redskins a 3-0 advantage at the conclusion of the first inning.

The Patriots answered with their first run of the contest in the top of the third inning. With a runner on second, a single from Mathew Martin put Oglethorpe County on the board.

In the bottom of the frame, Social Circle tacked on two additional runs on another error by the Patriots’ pitcher as well as Cross’ second RBI knock of the day.

The Redskins led 5-1 going out of the third inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Social Circle scored its last run of the game on an RBI groundout from Cross.

With the Redskins being held scoreless for the remainder of the game, it allowed the Patriots to begin a rally in the top of the sixth frame.

After back-to-back singles to leadoff the inning, Haiden Ashworth hit an RBI groundout to score one run and advance a runner to second base.

Following an Oglethorpe County batter reaching first on a hit by pitch, JW Derry doubled into left field to score a run. In the next at-bat, Jett De Mattei hit a two-run single to reduce the Redskins’ lead to 6-5.

With two runners on and two outs, Gehrig Knapp struck out the Patriots’ batter to limit the damage and prevent a tie game going into the bottom of the sixth.

In need of a rally-stopper, Nolan Mitchell came in for the seventh inning and delivered a one-two-three frame to earn the save and seal Social Circle’s sweep.

Knapp started the game for Social Circle and struck out five batters over six innings of work.

Harpe went 3-for-3 with a walk for the Redskins and drove in one run. Cross had two hits on four at-bats and drove in three runs in Tuesday’s contest.

Redskins take both games of the doubleheader to open the series

Social Circle and Oglethorpe County kicked off Region 5A-Division I play on Monday with a doubleheader on the Patriots’ home field.

In the first game, the Redskins rallied from a 6-4 deficit in the seventh inning to earn the 7-6 win.

Down by two runs, Cross opened the final frame with a leadoff single. Following the hit, Lucas Langley hit a no-doubt, two-run homer over the left field wall to tie the game.

After Landon Davis walked later in the frame, Caden Richardson lined a go-ahead RBI double into left field to put the Redskins ahead. Caden Gunter closed out the contest on the mound for Social Circle to win game one of the series.

Game two was the exact opposite of the 13-run total first game. It was much more of a pitcher’s duel as Social Circle came away with a 1-0 victory.

Just after delivering the go-ahead knock less than an hour earlier in game one, Richardson took the mound for the Redskins in game two.

Richardson pitched a complete game shutout for Social Circle. The junior only allowed five hits while striking out 12 Patriots’ batters.

With Richardson dealing, Social Circle’s one run was all it needed to earn the win. That run came in the top of the sixth, where the Redskins scored on an error by the Oglethorpe County outfield.

One highlight for the Redskins in the series was their patience at the plate. In three games, Social Circle drew 20 walks, which was something that impressed Dawkins at the end of the series.

“We struggled a little bit going into this series just finding our groove and being consistent at the plate,” Dawkins said. “Having a better approach over the last three games was pleasant to see. It is just the guys buying into the approach and to the philosophy of our hitting.”

The sweep to begin region play moved Social Circle to 15-9 on the season with a 3-0 start in Region 5A-Division I. The Redskins will come back from spring break and play a three-game series against Jasper County on April 9, 11 and 12. The middle game of the series, will be on the road.

Dawkins hopes that the strong start to region play, combined with a tough non-region slate, can boost the team in their final six regular season games against region opponents.

“That is what we have worked for and towards during the non-region schedule,” Dawkins said. “To get them prepared for series like this because it is a tough region. They have to be ready to go day-in, day-out for seven straight innings.”