Dreher knocked off top-ranked Brookland-Cayce 1-0 on Friday night to take the high ground in Region 5-3A baseball. The Blue Devils, coming off a fine 19-9 showing last spring in another region, improved to 6-2 overall, 3-0 in region play.
The game featured two great pitching performances. B-C senior ace James Hall allowed only four hits and had 17 strikeouts, but in the end Blue Devils junior Chandler Knox was a bit better – tossing a five-hit shutout with five strikeouts.
“It was a great game between two good teams,” said Dreher coach Pete Guyton. “The Hall kid threw as well as I’ve seen anybody throw in 20 years, but we were lucky enough to string together a few hits to get a run and we played great defense behind Chandler.”
The only run of the contest at the B-C field came in the fourth inning when Mike O’Neal, the No. 9 hitter in the Dreher batting order, singled off Hall and eventually came home on a double to the gap by Kurt Stoudenmire.
B-C had chances, but just couldn’t solve Knox. The Bearcats had two runners thrown out at the plate at various points, and stranded a runner at third base in the bottom of the seventh inning. One Bearcat runner was thrown out at the plate when Dreher catcher Matt Spotts ran down a wild pitch and threw in time for Knox to make the tag. In the other instance, Knox alertly picked up a B-C early steal bid of home and threw to Spotts for the tag. In the seventh, Knox eased out of the jam by compelling a pop up with the infield in for the second out before ending the game with a strikeout.
“I was a nervous wreck in the dugout, but it must have been a great game to watch,” said Guyton.
Knox is off to a great start with a 2-0 record and a 0.74 ERA. He was the winning pitcher in Dreher’s 3-2 win over South Aiken in the region opener last week.