Anthony DiMola didn’t get much time to rest.
He was locked in a pitchers’ duel with Ola senior Patrick Holloman, a UGA commit and one of the top pitchers in the state.
In the top of the second inning, Holloman showed why. He threw 12 pitches in the frame – six strikes, five foul balls and one ball – breezing through North Forsyth’s lineup while striking out the side.
“I told Sammy, I said, ‘Watch this. I’m going to strike out the side. I’m going to match him,’” DiMola remembers telling teammate Sammy Gore. “That was a lot of fun, that game.”
True to his word, DiMola nearly matched Holloman pitch for pitch in the bottom of the second, striking out two batters on six pitches, and freezing another Ola batter on a 1-2 pitch.
DiMola lived up to his prediction that inning, then proceeded to outduel Holloman, surrendering just two hits and an unearned run across 5 1/3 innings as the Raiders topped Ola 3-1.
He tallied eight strikeouts against an Ola team that played for the Class 5A state championship a year prior.
“I was really excited for that game going in,” DiMola said. “I was just really locked in because of the whole Patrick Holloman thing. I just knew it was going to be a great battle. We were both really highly ranked – us and Ola.”
DiMola, the 2020 Forsyth County News Pitcher of the Year, received a boost from teammate Garrett Staton in the third inning, when Staton launched a solo home run off Holloman to give North Forsyth a 2-0 lead.
For Staton, DiMola’s demeanor is not surprising.
“Anthony is the most confident person you’ll meet,” Staton said. “He’s a boss on the mound – he’s a bulldog out there. He doesn’t take anything from anybody, no matter what. Even if you get him, he’ll promise you you won’t get him again after that. He’ll come at you every time, too. He’s not afraid of anybody or anything.”
DiMola finished the season with a microscopic 0.32 ERA, striking out 30 batters through 21 1/3 innings and allowing just 11 hits and one walk. His WHIP (walks plus hits per inning) was 0.56, meaning DiMola allowed just one batter to reach base via hit or walk every two innings.
North Forsyth’s pitching staff finished with a 1.48 ERA and received significant innings from seniors DiMola and Noah Gilbert, but also junior Jess Ackerman and sophomores Brett Barfield and Baylor Homesley.
“I think we easily could have won region if we kept playing the way we can play every single game. We were really deep,” DiMola said. “Maybe lost a couple games, but I think we would’ve had the region championship.”
DiMola plans to ramp up his summer ball season this week, which will carry him into his mid-August move-in date at Georgia Southern.
DiMola committed to Georgia Southern ahead of his junior season, which saw the North Forsyth lefty finish with a 1.41 ERA and a 6-2 record, fanning 84 batters across 64 2/3 innings.
“I always liked Georgia Southern, but it wasn’t until I got down there for my first visit that I was like, ‘Wow, I can really see myself here every single day,’ DiMola said. “The coaches really welcomed me and I just felt really wanted there. It was a pretty easy decision for me, honestly, after that visit.”
Georgia Southern has won at least 30 games in each season since 2014, and the Eagles swept their season series this year against in-state rival UGA.