In a major leap forward for the Dickinson baseball program, the Gators swept their District 24-6A season series against perennial contender Friendswood with an 11-2 win Friday.
“Friendswood is a quality program, they have a lot of tradition here, and to be able to do that just says a lot about how far we’ve come since I’ve been here,” Dickinson head coach Bo Davis said. “And I don’t think it’s because of me; I think it’s because of the hard work and the effort these boys that they put in every day. They’ve bought in to what we’re selling.”
The Gators got off to a fast start with five runs in the first three innings and never let their foot off the proverbial pedal en route to the win.
Dickinson plated two runs in the top of the first on an RBI double laced to left field by first baseman Kiko Nunez scoring left fielder Garrett Whitley (leadoff single) and on a bases-loaded walk drawn by second baseman Andrew Jimenez.
In the top of the third, Dickinson pushed its lead to 5-0 on an RBI single by right fielder Charles Peacock and a two-run single slammed up the middle by center fielder Kam Johnson.
Three more runs were scored in the top of the fifth, as Johnson shot another RBI single through the right side of the infield, a run scored on an error, and starting pitcher Brian Dawson smacked an RBI single into center field to give Dickinson an 8-0 lead.
An error on the catcher in the top of the sixth, an RBI grounder hit by Dawson in the top of the seventh and a solo home run crushed over the right field wall by catcher Anthony Monarres rounded out the scoring for Dickinson.
“We didn’t play good defense, we didn’t pitch particularly well, and we didn’t hit particularly well,” Friendswood head coach Steve Hecker said. “But, I’ll tell you what, it’s a testament to Dickinson and the way they play. They’re coached well, and they play hard, and they put pressure on the defense, and they did everything they needed to do.”
Friendswood picked up its only runs of the night on a bases loaded hit by pitch in the bottom of the fifth and a sacrifice fly by catcher Calvin Whitaker in the bottom of the seventh inning. Although Friendswood was held to only four base hits, the Mustangs had plenty of base runners between having six hit batters and drawing three walks, but could not fully capitalize on those chances.
Leading Dickinson’s batters were Peacock (3-for-3, three runs, one RBI), Nunez (2-for-4, one RBI, one run) and Johnson (2-for-4, three RBIs, one run). Shortstop Marcus Huerta (2-for-2, one run) had a multi-hit game for Friendswood.
Picking up the win on the mound for the Gators, Dawson’s final pitching line was five innings, three hits, one earned run, eight strikeouts and zero walks (but five hit batters).
Both teams return to action 7 p.m. Tuesday. Dickinson (2-0 in district) is at Clear Lake (0-2), and Friendswood (0-2) hosts Clear Falls (1-1).