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Blue Devils swept by Wayne Co.
033018 SHS BASEBALL 01
Wayne County shortstop Cooper Martin gets the force-out against Statesboro High's Davis Wiggins and turns a double play in the third inning Friday.

The long season continued for the Statesboro Blue Devils, who hosted top-ranked Wayne County Friday at Mill Creek Park in the third game of a three game series. After having dropped game one 5-1 at home Monday, and then falling 10-0 in Jesup Wednesday, the Blue Devils lost by the mercy rule once again Friday, dropping another 10-0 decision.

The Blue Devils were playing without their top pitcher Bradley Gronefeld who injured his lower back last week.

Gronefeld was attempting to get back in the lineup this week against the Yellow Jackets, but Statesboro coach Jim Simmons said Gronefeld suffered a setback early in the week.

“Bradley has been our most successful pitcher all year long,” Simmons said. “He’s very frustrated about not playing, but his health comes first, and I don’t want him throwing if he is not at one hundred percent.”

Wayne County opened the scoring in the top of the first. With a runner on third a hot shot to third by Cade Lambert was bobbled, allowing Cooper Martin to score and it was 1-0.

The Blue Devils had a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the inning. Blake Stanford reached on an infield hit, the Mikal Mascarello hit a bloop single to right. The runners advanced to second and third on a throwing error.

With runners on second and third and one out a Blue Devil strikeout was followed by a line drive to second that was caught for out number three.

“We haven’t done a good job this year of getting timely hitting with runners on base,” Simmons said. “Against a team like Wayne County you have to take advantage of situations like that.”

The Yellow Jackets extended their lead in the second inning. Griffin Boykin singled to center, followed by an RBI double down the left field line by Brad Thomas to make it 2-0. A balk moved Thomas to third, and he would then come home to score on a sacrifice fly to center by Martin to make it 3-0.

In the third more from the Wayne County offense, as Lambert came through with another RBI double to left to make it 4-0. David Moseley then hit a double to the gap in left center to drive in two more runs and extend the lead to 6-0.

In the top of the fifth the Jackets would end up scoring four runs and winning by the mercy rule. Griffin Boykin came through with a bases loaded two run single to center. Martin then poked a two run single to right to make it 10-0.

Yellow Jacket pitcher Brice Miller went the distance for Wayne County, allowing only three hits while striking out five, in five innings of work.

“Wayne County can flat out hit, up and down the lineup,” Simmons said. “I thought our guys continued to battle, we just have to move on.”

“Everything is still right in front of us. We have South Effingham next week, we are on spring break, so hopefully we can concentrate on baseball. Our teams normally don’t have a problem with distractions during spring break.”

Wayne County improves to 17-3 overall and 6-0 in region play. Statesboro falls to 2-19 overall and 1-5 in region play. Up next Statesboro will host South Effingham Monday at 6 p.m.