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Jackets pick up region victory
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    BROOKLET — Starting pitcher David McCarthy allowed only three runs and threw 92 pitches over five innings, and Fisher Strickland crossed the plate three times and earned the save as the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets (6-4, 2-3) knocked off the Westside Patriots (11-4, 3-3) 8-5 in a Tuesday night Region 3-AA contest.
    Both teams got off to a quick start as each put up two runs in the first inning. The Patriots got on the board on the strength of a Melvin Tanksley RBI single and a Logan Gaines sacrifice fly, and the Jackets were able to answer with RBI singles from Matt Conner and Casey Woodrum.
    The 2-2 tie lasted until the bottom of the second when SEB got all the offense it needed. Strickland got the scoring started when he drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Jackets a 3-2 lead. Conner then looped a fly ball into right field that allowed Tyler Robbins to score. Dustin Stall broke the game wide open when, with two on and two out, he ripped a double to left-center and drove in two more runs, giving Southeast Bulloch a 6-2 lead. Stall stole third, then crossed the plate after a wild pitch.
    “We gave them some runs in that one big inning,” said Patriot coach Gerald Barnes. “Any time you do that, I think you’re disappointed…They outplayed us in every phase, and when you do that, your chances of winning are pretty good.”
    The Patriots were able to get something started as McCarthy began to run out of steam late in the game. After a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, he walked the bases loaded to start the sixth.
    “We were going to let (McCarthy) go as long as he could,” said Southeast Bulloch coach Stephen Hoyle. “We weren’t going to let him lose the game, because he pitched to good to get where he was… He pitched a great five innings.”
    McCarthy finished the night allowing six hits, striking out three. His only walks during were the three that he loaded the bases with in the sixth.
    The Jackets used three pitchers in the sixth inning, and on the aid of two Conner strikeouts, SEB was able to get out of the based-loaded-and-nobody-out situation with only two runs crossing the plate.             The seventh was closed out by Strickland, who set down the Patriots 1-2-3 on the aid of two strikeouts.
    Strickland, Stall and Conner all had three RBIs for Southeast Bulloch. The Yellow Jackets combined for eight stolen bases on the night and were only caught stealing once. Westside stranded seven runners and could not seem to capitalize, due to the near-flawless performance by SEB’s defense.
    “I thought the guys really responded well today,” said Hoyle. “They strung together a couple of hits, manufactured some runs and laid down three beautiful bunts when we had the big inning. I am really proud of the way the boys played. They played real gutsy ball today.”
    The Yellow Jackets return to the diamond when they travel on Emmanuel County to take on ECI today at 5 p.m.