published Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Silverdale Seahawks edge Dakota Hudson, Sequatchie Indians 2-1

A group of scouts film Sequatchie County pitcher Dakota Hudson while he warms up for the start of the 4th inning Tuesday against Silverdale.
A group of scouts film Sequatchie County pitcher Dakota Hudson while he warms up for the start of the 4th inning Tuesday against Silverdale.
Photo by Connor Choate.

DUNLAP, Tenn. — Neither the scouts nor visiting Silverdale Baptist Academy were disappointed Tuesday evening.

The same couldn't be said, though, for Dakota Hudson, who was subjected to the scrutiny of nearly two dozen major league scouts, or his Sequatchie County teammates.

Hudson had his usual thunder, his fastball clocking mid-90s in the middle innings and still registering 90 in the seventh, but District 5-A hopeful Silverdale had enough thunder and a little more lightning to win a season-opening pitchers' duel 2-1.

The Seahawks did it behind part-time pitcher Joey Szollosi, who struck out five and limited the Indians to one hit in his five innings on the mound.

"He was a shortstop, but last year we asked him to take more of a role as a pitcher. I think he's throwing in the low 80s," Seahawks coach Jonathan Adcock said.

Szollosi, Spencer Mossburg and Reid Clements combined on a one-hitter with Clements getting two strikeouts in the seventh to earn the save.

"It was a team effort," Szollosi said. "The big thing was our defense. We did what we needed offensively."

Szollosi will be a fixture in the Seahawks' rotation, even after Mossburg, coming off basketball, works his way into top pitching form. Clements, meanwhile, showed no ill effects from Tommy John surgery more than a year ago.

"Joey pitched fantastic," Adcock said. "We were facing a really good pitcher and took advantage of every little mistake we could."

Both of the Seahawks' runs were unearned, and Szollosi had their only RBI on a single that skipped between third and short.

The final score was of little interest to the scouts who were two-deep behind the backstop with video cameras capturing Hudson's every move and facial expression and radar guns recording his speeds on both fast and curveballs.

"I hit two guys and one of them ended up scoring," the 6-foot-5, Mississippi State-signed Hudson said.

Their attendance might have been a distraction, but Hudson was unflappable even after two passed balls on strikeouts and a couple of errors behind him.

"The scouts -- you don't really get used to it, but they're a part of it. I was concentrating on keeping my head down, so I didn't really see them that much," Hudson said.

When asked about his future and the major league draft in June, Hudson replied, "June is a long way off."

While he wasn't happy with the hit batsmen, he was pleased with a seven-inning pitch count under 90 and no free passes. He finished with 11 strikeouts.

"Everything we've worked on will come together," he said of a team that is replacing six starters from a 22-win team in 2012.

"You shrug that one off and come back tomorrow," Sequatchie coach Aaron Simmons said. "We know we're not going to hit a lot and we're not going to score a lot of runs, but we have three or four good arms and we have to play well behind those arms."

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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