PHOTO BY LISA McGINTY | LMc Photography
Dalton’s Jaden Schlabach with the pitch.
By ARIEL STAHLER
Gazette & News sports writer
For many teams, home is the place where they play the best. That is not the case this season for Dalton High School’s varsity baseball team. After wins at Norwayne and Sandy Valley, the Dawgs remain undefeated when they are the visiting team with an 8-0 road record.
They had a home win against the Bobcats and a loss to Black River to make their overall record 12-5 and their WCAL record 7-1.
The Dawgs secured a 4-2 win April 20 against Norwayne. Bennet Gwin and Colter Chupp both recorded one RBI each in the first inning to give Dalton an early 2-0 lead. The
Bobcats cut the lead in the third, but Dalton erased Norwayne’s gain in the fifth inning when the Dawgs scored a solo run. Norwayne plated one run in the sixth to come within one run. Gwin singled in a run in the seventh to give Dalton some insurance for securing the win.
Seth Manley struck out eight hitters during his complete-game performance. He gave up two earned runs on six hits and issued two walks.
The Dawgs won 5-2 when they hosted Norwayne April 22. Dalton got on the board first with one run in the second inning. They scored their four other runs in the fifth inning. Norwayne scored its only two runs of the game in the sixth. Isaac Wengerd received the win. He went the distance, gave up two unearned runs on three hits, issued three walks and recorded five Ks.
“Another great win for us,” said Dalton’s head coach Scott Huth. “Seven wins in a row. We are starting to play better defensively now and pitchers are throwing more strikes because they are pitching to contact and having confidence the guys will make the play behind them.”
Black River snapped Dalton’s win streak when the Dawgs lost a close game at home 4-3 Apr. 23. Both teams were scoreless until the Pirates drove home two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. With one out in the sixth, Manley tripled and then scored during the next at-bat when Jaden Schlabach hit an RBI triple. Schlabach scored on a groundout by Gwin for Dalton’s second run of the inning.
Schlabach took the loss. He gave up four earned runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings while walking five and striking out six hitters.
Dalton made a road trip to Sandy Valley April 24 and secured a big 12-4 win. The Cardinals got on the board first with four runs in the third inning, but they would go cold for the rest of the game. Dalton chipped away at the lead by scoring two runs in the fourth inning. The Dawgs batted around in the fifth inning and scored five runs, three of which were courtesy of a three-run homer from Adam Jarrett. Dalton increased the lead to 11-4 in the sixth inning when they added four runs. The game was capped off with an RBI single from Kole Miller in the seventh to add one more run in Dalton’s favor.
“We basically played a team that was nearly a mirror image of the team we played last night,” said Huth. “We sort of coasted through last night and just went through the motions after two big wins against Norwayne and didn’t hit. Finally, in the fourth inning today, our bats woke up and we were able to string some solid hits together.”