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Jackets fall to BC, 9-2

    BROOKLET — Bryan County’s Ricky Myrick got the complete game, pitched six shutout innings and struck out nine Southeast Bulloch batters on 106 pitches as the Redskins knocked off the Yellow Jackets (8-7, 3-4 Region 3-AA) 9-2 Thursday night in Brooklet.
    “We lost our lack of focus out there,” said SEB coach Stephen Hoyle, “and we let this one slip away from us. Give credit to Bryan County . They put the ball in play, and we didn’t make plays. That is the bottom line.”
    The Jackets, who beat region-rival Screven County Tuesday and play on the road again today, used Thursday’s Bryan County game to get some experience for everyone on the squad.
    “I told (the players) at the beginning the game,” Hoyle said, “that we were going to let everyone get an at-bat today and get some playing time out in the field… It is just one of those games where you are playing in between two region games and you’ve got some kids who have been working hard and busting their butts — they want to play too.”
    The guys who stepped off the bench for SEB stepped up in a big way, combining for a run on 2-for-5 hitting with a walk.
    The game was close for the first six innings of play. Jacket pitcher Matt Conner pitched four no-hit innings before moving to left field and Southeast Bulloch trailed by one heading into the sixth.
    Although Conner did not allow any hits, the Redskins were able to take advantage of him when he walked three of the first four batters he faced. With the bases loaded Conner struck out Redskin left fielder Trey Boatright, but a passed ball on the third strike allowed a run to score. After Jacket catcher Tyler Robbins fielded the ball to try to get the runner at home, he overthrew Conner and allowed another run to score.
    The score remained 2-0 in favor of the Redskins until the bottom of the fourth after the entire infield was replaced and SEB used its bench to get on the scoreboard. After Conner popped a single into shallow right-center and stole second to get into scoring position, backup third baseman Joseph Wilson lined an RBI single into centerfield and advanced to second on the throw home. The string of base hits continued when backup second baseman Justin Daniels hit a come-backer that got into the second base gap and advanced Wilson to third. Daniels was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. After Conner Reams was walked on four straight pitches, he was caught trying to steal second. On the throw to second, however, Wilson was able to score and tie the game at 2.
    Conner was moved to left after he struck out five in his four no-hit innings, and his absence was noticeable. The Redskins put up one in the fifth and two more in the sixth before breaking the game wide open in the top of the seventh.
    Jacket lefty Scotty Beegle — the fourth Southeast pitcher of the evening — couldn’t get any help from his defense. He only allowed one hit from the five batters he faced, and struck out one, but three fielding errors allowed four more runs to score.
    Southeast Bulloch will have to get over the difficult home loss, because it will be traveling to Swainsboro today. The first pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., and the implications for the Yellow Jackets are huge. Having already taken on Swainsboro once — a tough 5-3 loss at home earlier this season —SEB knows it will be a difficult task to even out their region record against a team with an undefeated Region 3-AA record. Hoyle wants to find the focus they had against the rival Gamecocks.
    “The intensity level (against Bryan County) wasn’t there like it was on Tuesday (against Screven),” Hoyle said. “We didn’t ever reach that intensity level that they need to be at to be competitive. You gotta come and bring your ‘A’ game every time you step out on the field and we just didn’t bring our ‘A’ game today.”

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