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The Mize Bulldogs kick off the 2019 season with an overall record of 9-2, and a division record of 2-0. The Bulldog bats are beginning to come around and the defense is shaping up quickly.

Eli Cross, Bulldog senior and veteran left fielder, has proven to be the most improved offensive player returning from last years’ team as he finds himself at the top of several offensive categories. Opponents are showing familiarity and respect for the four-year starting veteran catcher, John Sullivan, as only 8 attempts have been taken in pursuit of stolen bases, with only 3 of those efforts paying off for opposing offenses. Clayton Cook’s offensive output, while always present, has been gaining steam over the last few games as the Bulldog lead-off man and Short Stop has recorded 6 hits in his last 9 at-bats, with a handful of RBIs and BBs as well. Cook, along with Zack Griffith and Tyler Temple are also the leaders in stolen bases for the 2019 campaign, thus far.

Though the Bulldogs have been competitive in recent years, this years’ club features at least one significant marker of a powerful team; perhaps the strongest starting pitching rotation of any Mize team since the early 2000s. Two of the four players offered collegiate baseball opportunities in this recent offseason have guided the Bulldogs through some tense situations and provided the Bulldogs an opportunity to be successful regardlessof the opponent. Tyler Temple currently has a record of 3- 1 (1 Save) and an ERA of 0.00.  Temple’s strikeout-to-walk ratio is 39-5 at the break. Against Temple, opponents have been able only to generate a batting average of .158. John Riley as been just as impressive as Temple in the early third of the season. Riley’s record of 3-0 is accompanied by an ERA of 1.54, 15 strikeouts, only 4 walks (two intentional) and an opponents’ batting average of .180. Along with the top two rotation guys are Grant McLeod (1-0) with an ERA of 0.00, Zack Griffith (1-0), and a promising right-hander, Dustin Bush, with quality innings registered in a relief.

The Bulldogs will travel to the Battle At The Beach Tournament this week for three games across as many days. Starkville Academy, St. Stanislaus, and the undefeated 6A South Panola Tigers will match up with the Bulldogs. Game locations and times are subject to change. Any changes will be posted on the Mize Diamond Club social media page.

(Article by Adam Dyess)

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