The Upson-Lee Diamond Knights are in the midst of their longest winning streak (3 games) since 2008. After a 5-0 victory over Stockbridge on Friday night, the Knights are now 4-4 in 2013, but more importantly 3-1 in Region 4. Back in April of 2008, the Knights defeated Stockbridge, Baldwin, and Riverdale to give them a three game winning streak, and over the last three games, the Knights have defeated Eagles Landing, North Clayton, and Stockbridge, equalling that streak.
The Knights have already doubled their win total from a season ago, a season which saw them in a region with four teams ranked in the top 10 in the state. This season’s schedule is a little more manageable, but the Diamond Knights are also playing much better baseball than a season ago. According to head coach Wayne Puckett, the Knights’ success all starts with pitching.
“We have really been pitching much better over the last three games,” said Puckett. “Dalton Strom and Dillon Watson have given us some great innings. We are cutting down on our walks, which is leading to us playing better defense. We are also starting to get timely base hits. We have some big games this week, and I think the guys are really looking forward to the challenge.”
On Friday against Stockbridge, senior Dillon Watson toed the rubber for the Knights, and pitched brilliantly. Watson pitched a complete game shutout, going the full seven innings, allowing zero runs on four hits, while striking out seven batters and walking just one.
The Knights took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first, thanks in part to designated hitter Jordan Bosworth. After Brandon Blount and Matt Crews reached base safely on singles, “Boz” as his teammates call Bosworth, drove both base runners home with a solid base hit.
The Tigers from Stockbridge tried to make a little noise of their own in the bottom of the first inning, but the strong arm of catcher Austin Matson put out any fire the Tigers were hoping to start. After a lead off single by the Tigers shortstop, Matson gunned down the Tigers infielder trying to steal second base. Stockbridge added another hit in the inning, but Watson was able to get the Tigers to fly out to left field and leave a runner stranded.
With a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning, Crews led off and reached base with after an error on the Stockbridge first baseman. Crews would come home to score on another error by the shortstop off the bat of Jesse Glover.
UL added another run in the fifth inning, and again it was Bosworth who delivered. After Crews reached second base on a single and wild pitch, Bosworth drove in his third run of the game with his second hit of the game. Upson-Lee’s Logan Fowler also reached on an error and scored the Knights’ fifth run of the game in the sixth inning, sealing the Knights’ 5-0 victory.
Jordan Bosworth paced the Knights with two hits and three RBI. Matt Crews and Logan Fowler each tallied two hits, while Dalton Strom and Brandon Blount each chipped in with one hit in the victory.
Upson-Lee faced off with Locust Grove on Monday, but the results of the game were not available by press time. The Wildcats are currently 4-0 in Region 4, just one game ahead of the Knights in the standings. Look in Friday’s paper for a full game recap.