The lack of getting much practice or games in lately, showed in Bulloch Academy’s region opener Friday evening against Trinity. A couple walks, and costly errors allowed the visiting Crusaders to come back from a 3-1 deficit, as they knocked off the Gators 7-4 at Gator Alley.
The Gators had a 3-1 lead, and a chance to add to it as they loaded the bases with one out in the fourth. The Gators ended up starnding those runners, and coach Michael Sumner felt that was the turning point of the game.
“We had the bases loaded and only one out,” Sumner said. “I feel like if we could have been able to bring a couple more runs across, it could have broken the game wide open. Instead you could feel the momentum shift to Trinity, and the next thing you know they tied the game at 3-3.”
Starting pitcher Spencer Sharp was rolling right along with three strikeouts, and only one unearned run through four innings of work. In the fifth with two outs, Sharp walked two batters, and then an error helped open the door for the Crusaders. Trinity got back to back RBi singles from Macky Rowland, and Karsen Kight to take a 4-3 lead.
“We really have to do a better job of doing the little things,” Sumner said. “A couple errors, leaving the bases loaded, a couple walks with two out, those are the kind of things that get you beat in a close game.”
Trinity started the scoring in the first as Walker Payne helped manufacture a run. After beating out an infield single, Payne stole second base, and then stole third. An errant throw allowed Payne to score for a 1-0 Trinity lead.
The Gators responded, as they tied the game in the bottom of the first on a walk, and an error by the Crusaders. The Gators then took a 2-1 lead in the second as Tyler Willoughby plated Ford Wildes with a sacrifice fly to center. Bryson Scott extended the lead to 3-1 with his first varsity home run, a solo shot to center in the third inning.
The Gators tied the game 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth, but the Crusaders added three runs in the top of the seventh. Another two-out error opened the door for Trinity, and they took advantage with an RBI single by Kyle Curry and a two-run double by Ryan Flanders.
“We have to do a better job of finishing,” Sumner said. “We can play great for three or four inning, but we have to finish. We are getting better with it, but it’s not an overnight fix. I feel like we battled till the end, but we have to get back to work and fix the little things that keep costing us.”
The loss drops the Gators to 2-5 on the season, and 0-1 in region play. Up next the Gators host Pinewood for a region matchup Tuesday at 6:00.
In other high school baseball action the Statesboro Blue Devils knocked off Tattnall County 7-6 Friday night in Reidsville. The game was originally scheduled to play at Mill Creek park, but unplayable field conditions forced the game to be played at Tattnall County.
The Blue Devils came back from being down 3-1 with three runs in the sixth inning. The Blue Devils added three more runs in the top of the seventh, and they would need all of them. Tattnall County answered with three runs themselves, before Blue Devil pitcher Drake Horton was able to get out of the jam.
Statesboro was led offensively by Mikal Mascarello and Dake Williams who both went 2-3, and each had a home run. Austin Arendas added a pair of hits and an RBI.
Statesboro improves to 6-3 on the season and will play a doubleheader Saturday at Greenbrier beginning at 1:00.