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Blue Devils smack Vidalia
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    The load has been lifted.
    Statesboro scored 12 runs in the third inning to run-rule Vidalia 18-3 Monday at Mill Creek. The Blue Devils (4-7) broke a scoreless streak of at least 14 innings and scored double digits for the first time this season.
    “I think it gives us some confidence,” said junior Zack Taylor on the breakout night. “We had a lot more timely hits today. I think we get more of those, we’re going to be all right. We’re going to do a lot of things that some people don’t expect us to do.”
    The Diamond Devils went through four VHS (7-4) pitchers, three of which attempted to put out the fire in the third.
    Leading 6-2,  starter Brandon Primus hit the first man he faced in the third. Three VHS relievers only recorded one out thereafter — and even that was a Josh Ware sac fly to right to make it 7-2.
    The big blow came from Taylor with runners on second and third and a 1-1 count after Ware’s RBI. The right fielder turned on an inside fastball and planted it deep over the right field wall to make it 10-7.
    “Well, I just told myself I was going to make them come to me,” he said. “I wasn’t going to swing at any bad pitches — I’ve had some trouble with that this year, being a little too aggressive. I  was just going to wait for my pitch and I got it and did what I could with it.”
    The Devils scored the final eight runs on four singles, two wild pitches, two walks, an error and a hit batsman. Aaron Cone got the “walk-off” RBI by taking one in the side with the bases loaded.
    Statesboro coach Chris Bishop was conflicted after putting a pounding on a fellow coach he looks to as a mentor.
    “Coach (Greg) James is just such a wonderful coach — a good mentor and I look to him for a lot of things,” said Bishop. “You don’t know when to stop. But he was nice enough to play us in the middle of the region (schedule) when most teams don’t want to do that. He didn’t throw his best, but we did put the ball in play and we got a good effort out of our little freshman and we’re proud of him.”
    Trey Robinson was the little freshman, winning his third game of the year in three innings of work. He gave up a two-run single to Jared Peacock in the second and a solo shot off the bat of Michael Madison in the third.
    Taylor finished 2-for-2 with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored. Alex Brown was 2-for-2 with two singles, a walk, an RBI and three runs scored. Statesboro ended Vidalia’s five-game winning streak.
    The Devils will travel to Lakeside this Friday, a game originally scheduled to be played in Mill Creek. Instead, the Panthers will make their trip to Statesboro in mid-April.

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