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Strong pitching gives SEB region win

    BROOKLET — Cory Ward went 2-for-3 with a triple, an RBI and crossed the plate twice as the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets (7-6, 3-3 Region 3-AA) got an 8-2 region win over the visiting Metter Tigers (1-13, 0-6) Friday.  
    Joe Wilson got the win from the mound, and Matt Conner closed things out, striking out four in his two innings of work.
     Wilson was pulled after two-straight walks led off the top of the sixth. He finished after a strong five innings, allowing just two runs on two hits and striking out nine. He also walked seven Tigers in the win.
    “Joseph did a really good job on the hill,” said SEB coach Stephen Hoyle. “He was around the strike zone all night, and I appreciate that. His walks weren’t bad misses. He had his best outing that I’ve seen since I’ve been at Southeast Bulloch.”
    Clinging to a 1-0 lead, the Jackets put up three in the bottom of the third with the help of a pair of extra-base hits by Ward and Cory Nesmith.
    Conner got things started with a one-out single to centerfield. He was driven in on the next at-bat when — on the hit-and-run — Ward pounded a standup triple past the centerfielder that rolled to the right-center wall and scored Conner.
    Ward scored on a base hit by Casey Woodrum, and Woodrum later scored on Nesmith’s RBI double.
    Six different Yellow Jackets drove in a run in the win. Along with Ward, Woodrum and Nesmith, David McCarthy (0-for-2, bases-loaded BB), Wilson (1-for-3, 2B) and Justin Daniels (1-for-3, SB) each had an RBI in the contest.
    “On this team,” Hoyle said, “we’ve got some guys that take some very good swings and are real patient behind the plate. I feel like one through nine – any of those guys can hit the ball at any given time. Tonight, they were waiting on their pitch. I think they had the timing down and I think we got some (hits) from a bunch of different key players.
    “That’s what it’s all about when you need to score some runs. You can’t rely on one or two or three. You’ve got to rely all the way through the lineup. I think we’ve got a pretty balanced lineup.”
    Each SEB batter reached base at least once, and four (Ward, Wilson, Nesmith and Tony Raymond) had an extra-base hit.
    Metter’s first two runs were scored by centerfielder Jonathan Cobb (0-for-1, 3 BB). In the top of the third, Cobb walked, reached third on a Pete Nagel single and scored on a passed ball. He scored on another passed ball in the sixth.
    Nagel – the Tiger’s starting pitcher – went four innings, allowed nine hits and struck out four Yellow Jackets.
    The win puts Southeast Bulloch above .500 on the season, and has it in the middle of the pack of a balanced region.
    “We’re just going to fine-tune everybody and we just need to keep our winning streak going,” said Hoyle. “We’ve played two good games here back-to-back, so we need to keep that going. Monday’s (non-region game against Tattnall County in Brooklet) is going to be big to build momentum.
    “We keep telling the guys to play with intensity, play with fire, play with focus and that’s what we’ve been doing.”
    The Jackets return to region play Tuesday at Screven County. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9404.

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