Hunter Dawson is adept at first base, a position he has played since he fell in love with baseball at age 5. He’s also solid as a relief pitcher coming out of the bullpen, a role he’s grown increasingly confident in the more Birmingham’s Spain Park High School baseball coach Will Smith calls on him. But the coach had something else in mind when filling out his line-up for the third and deciding game of the 2013 6A first-round playoff series against rival and then top-ranked Thompson High School. He looked beyond Dawson’s immediate skill set and asked the junior to do something he had not done all season. Smith, the head coach at Spain Park for the past 10 years, tapped Dawson as his starting pitcher for the pressure-cooker game. Though Dawson had only pitched in relief last year, Smith believed the righty was ready, confident his biting slider Read More
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