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Blue Devils open season with 3-1 win over South Effingham
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    Scott Sarratt’s two-out, 3-run double in the third was all the offense Statesboro needed, shutting down South Effingham 3-0 Monday in the season opener at Mill Creek for both teams.
    “We played good defense and pitched the ball real well which is pretty much what I expected,” said Statesboro coach Chris Bishop.
    South Effingham pitcher Jessie Osborne was in total control with two outs in the third when Brandon Wilson laid down a beauty of a bunt along the third base line. Josh Ware then scorched a ball to third which ate up Chris Zittrouer. Ware beat out the throw after Zittrouer recovered to put runners at first and second.
    Zack Taylor walked on five pitches bringing up Sarratt. The junior catcher sliced an 0-1 pitch to right center just out of reach of the right fielder, clearing the bases for the game’s biggest hit.
    Tony Hill started the game for SHS (1-0) and picked up the win pitching two innings, allowing one hit and striking out two. Hill gave way to Crawford Simmons in the third. Simmons pitched two scoreless innings and struck out four.
    With one on and one out in the fourth, Simmons’ first pitch to Zittrouer was hammered to right. But Taylor made a diving catch to perserve the shutout.
    Taylor then came on in relief in the fifth and pitched two scoreless innings of his own, striking out three. Josh Ware earned the save (1) by getting a ground out with two on and two out in the seventh.
    “We just wanted to get some guys out there and see what they can do,” said Bishop. Statesboro has two tough games on Friday and Saturday. “Everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do and threw strikes.”
    Osborne pitched five innings for SEHS (0-1), surrendering three runs on just four hits. He struck out four and walked one. No one player had more than one hit in the contest.
    The Devils play at Effingham County on Friday at 5 p.m. against Starr’s Mill out of Fayetteville. They’ll host Luella from Locust Grove on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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