Bulloch Academy combined good pitching and defense with timely hitting to take a 4-0 victory over Augusta Preparatory School Friday in the Gators’ final Region 4-AAA contest.
Sophomore Joshua Bishop tossed a one-hitter, allowing a single to center in the fourth. He struck out five, walked one and hit two batters. Bulloch played lock-down defense as the Gators turned a double play, threw out a runner trying to steal second and made some terrific plays in both the infield and outfield.
“After Spring Break and the three-day 10th grade field trip last week, we knew that we were going to be a little rusty,” said BA head coach Chris Bishop. “But we told the guys to buckle down and just grind it out until we got back into shape. Today, we played real good defense and threw the ball across the plate.”
With the win, Bulloch (12-4 overall and 6-2 in the region) finds itself in a tie with Pinewood Christian School for the Region 4-AAA crown. The Gators and the Patriots split on head-to-head play during the season so the squads will have a one-game playoff for the title. A coin flip will be held early next week to decide the location of the championship game, which may be as early as Wednesday.
Against APS, Bulloch scored once in the third, again in the fifth and twice in the sixth.
Bishop mowed the visitors down in the first three innings, sitting down nine straight batters.
“Today, we worked on throwing just one pitch out of the strike zone,” said Bishop. “We wanted Joshua to throw to the middle of the plate and let the defense work.”
It was the offense which went to work in the bottom of the third. Senior Bailey Smith reached on an error and stole second. Junior Hobby Mills laced a single to short left and the speedster scored from third for a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, senior Mathew Blitch walked and stole second. Smith bounced out to short and Blitch beat the throw back to third with a perfect slide. Senior Harrison Averitt singled to right to plate his classmate for a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth, senior Jarret Humphries blasted a solo home run over the left field fence for a 3-0 advantage. Senior Loy Waters singled to left, stole second and trotted home on Bishop’s blast to center. Also in the sixth, freshman Lanier Olliff injured his left ankle on a slide at third base and was carried from the field with an air cast around the injury.
Bulloch is scheduled to travel to Macon on Monday to face Tattnall Square Academy and then host Edmund Burke Academy on Tuesday but the impending region championship game may call for the rescheduling of the games.