In the 5A South Tournament championship game on Wednesday, the White Hall Bulldogs outlasted the Watson Chapel Wildcats to win 3-1 and were crowned 5A South champions.
Both teams traveled tough roads to get there.
White Hall knocked out the No. 1 seed Hot Spring Lakeside 5-1, while Watson Chapel took down the No. 2 seed, Magnolia, 10-0.
After the Wildcats scored the first run of the game in the second inning, both teams were locked in defensively. White Hall wouldn’t score a run until the fifth inning, where they recorded all three of their runs to go ahead.
White Hall senior Dutton Day pitched a complete game, holding Watson Chapel to a lone run in the second inning. Day showed grit and toughness by even taking the mound, as according to Bulldogs Head Coach Shane Harp, he suffered an injury on a slip and fall in the bullpen the night before.
“Man, it was a good game,” Harp said. “Dutton Day ... stepped up like a senior should. The day before I almost put him in to finish a game, but he got out there and slipped in the bullpen. I was worried to death, but he bowed up, put a brace on, and pitched a full game. He got a lot of ground outs and pop-ups, that’s what did it.”
Watson Chapel sophomore Markevian "Tink" Hence pitched six innings for the Wildcats. Hence threw nine strikeouts, but the Bulldogs did damage in that fifth inning. For the game, Hence gave up four hits and three runs. Two of those hits came during the fifth inning rally made by the Bulldogs.
White Hall senior Zack Motsinger connected for a two-run RBI triple that scored two runners to put the Bulldogs ahead. Next, it was senior Austin Terrell who recorded an RBI single that scored Motsinger for the final run of the game.
“Hence pitched a great game for them,” Harp said. “We had that one good inning where we got them. Chapel has been good, and (head coach Chad) Cope has done a great job. We’re on different sides of the state tournament bracket and hopefully we can meet them at Baum. Luckily this year we had some breaks, got some timely hits, ran the bases well, and Dutton Day’s pitching performance was huge.”
Watson Chapel Head Coach Chad Cope understands that when they play White Hall it’s a rivalry, and although he hates losing to them, he tipped his cap to them for playing a good game.
“It’s White Hall, its a rivalry, so it’s going to be close,” Cope said. “Their pitcher did what he had to do, and we left some runners on. We hit a couple balls hard and they ended up making plays on them. Tink pitched well and held them down for the most part. It was a good game all around for both teams.”