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NGA breaks BA

    After a perfect game on Saturday night, the Bulloch Academy Gators (5-11, 2-3) looked to get something started against Nathaniel Green Academy, but the visitors were too much for BA as they dropped an error-filled Tuesday afternoon game 12-3 to the Patriots.
    Nathaniel Green got the scoring started in the top of the first when a walk and a throwing error put runners on the corners with two outs. A successful double steal allowed Patriot third baseman Gray Holcomb to cross the plate for the first of four times and gave NGA a 1-0 lead. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases, but Gator pitcher Taylor Burke was able to force Hunter Bickers to pop out and strand three runners. After all of the top-first action, the Patriots remained hitless.
    The Gators responded in the bottom of the first when Drew Cheshire got the first hit of the game — a single to right field — and a pair of walks loaded the bases with two outs. Gator centerfielder Win Lee battled his way into a full count, but hit one off the end of his bat for an infield fly-out.
    Nathaniel Green got more runners on base in the top of the second without the aid of hits — John Duvall reached on a passed-ball after swinging at the third strike and brother Zeb drew a walk. A two-run triple by Holcomb broke things open for NGA and gave them a 3-0 lead. An RBI double and an RBI single capped off the scoring for the inning.
    Bulloch Academy got something going again in the bottom of the second when Michael Deloach ripped a double into right field and back-to-back walks again loaded the bases. A run scored on an error, but BA would enter the third trailing 5-1. They stranded three runners for the second consecutive inning. The Gators stranded 13 runners in the game and left the bases loaded three times.
    The Patriots were able to put a lot of men on base during the next two innings, but the BA defense tightened up and allowed only one run on one hit in the fourth — another half-inning that ended with the bases loaded — and the Gators got that one back when a bloop single by Deloach scored catcher Matthew Sapp. They entered the fifth trailing NGA 6-2.
    “We were in it for about four innings,” said BA coach Marty Durrence. “I think we ended up walking 11 guys, and probably made just as many errors, and you’re not going to win too many games doing that.”
    Nathaniel Green upped the intensity after the forth inning and put up three more in the fifth. After a Zeb Duvall solo home run and another error put runners on second and third, Daniel Durham (2-for-3, three RBI) drove in two more with a blooper to center and gave the Patriots a 9-2 lead.
    In the bottom of the seventh and trailing 12-3, the Gators tried to make one last stand, but once again left the bases loaded on a Thomas Brunson ground out.
    “If you don’t have some offensive support,” said Durrence, “it makes (the pitcher’s job) pretty tough to go out there and throw… We kicked the ball around. We had a couple of key injuries early on in the season, so we really only have one guy playing in his true spot, but the bottom line is if you don’t hit you won’t win.”
    Bulloch Academy will have some time off before returning to the diamond for the remainder of region play.
    “We’ll take the rest of the week off for spring break and come back for two big region games next week,” Durrence said.
    Bulloch Academy returns to action when they host Memorial Day on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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

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