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Nagel, Metter powers past SHS

Metter exploded out of the gate and then hung on late to clinch a season opening 10-9 win over Statesboro Monday night at Mill Creek Regional Park.

Senior Pete Nagel stole the show for the Tigers (1-0) tossing three scoreless innings to earn the win and going 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a pair of walks at the plate.

Trailing 10-6 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Statesboro’s Ben Saunders hit into a potential inning-ending double play, but Will Trapnell missed the bag at second and threw wide of first base allowing two runners to score.

The Blue Devils (0-1) rallied for another run in the seventh on a two-out triple by Kendrick Thompson, but Trace Padgett slammed the door with the tying run on third to end the game.

"Overall, I was happy with our performance tonight," said SHS coach Chris Bishop. "A lot of our guys are younger and haven’t seen pitching like (Nagel) before, but we settled in and had our chances at the end."

Metter wasted no time getting on top, jumping on Statesboro starting pitcher D.J. Grimes right out of the gate.

Bland Turner drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third after a one-out throwing error allowed Keigan Williams to reach base.

Tucker scored on a wild pitch ant two batters later, Padgett brought Williams and Nagel in to score with a two-out single.

Padgett came around to score on an RBI single by Austin Brosh and Landon Salter launched a two-run triple down the right field line that chased Grimes from the game and gave Metter a 6-0 lead after the first half inning of play.

The Devils finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage when Hunter Dixon relieved Nagel.

Justin Mee led off with a single and advanced to third on a well executed hit-and-run by Saunders.

Colin Chance knocked in Mee with an RBI groundout and Mitchell Kearney singled home Saunders, but Dixon worked out of trouble and retired Quante Huff and Haydon Rollins to keep the Metter lead at 7-2.

Chance brought the Devils within 7-4 on a two-run double in the fifth inning, but Clay Crawford emerged from the Tiger bullpen to end another threat.

While Metter got out in front early, Jarret Humphries was promising for the Devils on the mound. Making his first varsity appearance, the sophomore right-hander allowed just two hits and struck out four in two and two-thirds innings of work.

"That’s great to see from one of our younger guys," said Bishop. "You want to see what kind of pitching you have early in the season and it’s always good to see a young guy step up and throw well."

Statesboro mounted its biggest threat against Nagel in the second inning when a pair of errors put runners on second and third with one out, but the Tigers’ ace coaxed a shallow fly ball out of Jackson Ware and fanned Huff to escape the jame.

Metter returns to action Wednesday as it travels to Toombs County while the Devils prepare to host Calvary Day Thursday as part of the Blue Devil Diamond Days.

 

Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.

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