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Simmons on fire in Blue Devil win

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    Crawford Simmons pitched a complete game, allowing just one run on five hits, propelling Statesboro to a 2-1 win Monday at Mill Creek over visiting Evans.
    The junior lefty struck out 11, battling in and out of jams all night to help SHS (6-8, 2-3 Region 3-AAAA) get a little revenge on the Knights who beat Statesboro 6-0 earlier in the season.
    “It’s definitely good to get a team back,” said Simmons. “We put the ball in play, they put the ball in play — our defense just made plays.”
    Simmons labored through the seventh to escape giving up the lead and the victory.
    Pinch hitter Sean Matthews walked to lead off the inning then was sacrificed to second. Tevin Nelson then singled up the middle but second baseman Alex Brown knocked it down to keep Matthews from scoring.
    Simmons then struck out Teddy Leverett on six pitches and got counterpart Kevin Millward to hit a 1-0 come-backer to end the game.
    “Any win’s great,” said SHS coach Chris Bishop. “The kids needed it. They’ve been down a little bit.”
    The Devils were looking at a 1-4 start in region play before rallying in the fifth. Zack Taylor tripled with two outs into the right field corner. Scott Sarratt followed with a chopper to first which was booted, scoring Taylor to break a 1-1 tie.
    Simmons got a 1-2-3 sixth to hold steady momentum. His tricky change-up had hitters guessing all night.
    “That was a good performance by Crawford,” said Bishop. “As well as our guys playing defense. We’d like to be more opportunistic whenever we get guys on base, but the kids know we’re going to go back to the drawing board and continue to work and do the best we can with it.”
    Statesboro took the lead in the third after Josh Ware singled up the middle with one out. Taylor then executed a perfect hit-and-run, slapping the ball through the right side. Millward then balked, scoring Ware from third.
    The Knights (10-6, 3-2) countered in the fourth with a lead-off walk by Millward. Jeffrey Rice and Brandon Dominy hit back-to-back singles and Kevin Caughman grounded to second to score courtesy runner Matt Wehman.
    Statesboro will look towards another revenge game on Wednesday, traveling to first-place Greenbrier for a 6 p.m. first pitch.

    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.
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