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Devils stop slide, take out Mustangs
Statesboro High pitcher Griffin Davis celebrates as a pop-up seals the victory in the seventh against South Effingham Monday.

    In the bottom of the sixth inning tied 2-2 with South Effingham, the Statesboro Blue Devils were in need of a spark after getting swept by Effingham County — insert power hitter Tyler Tidick.
    Tidick delivered a solo home run to right field to give the Blue Devils a 3-2 lead. Just what the doctor ordered for Statesboro (10-6, 4-3 Region 3-AAAAA) as SHS went on to win 3-2 Monday night at Mill Creek.
    “We knew we could come out and beat these guys. We just had it and we went out and did it,” Tidick said after the game.
    Statesboro’s Griffin Davis pitched a complete game, allowing just three hits over seven innings. Dalton Ross and Mahlon Williams had base hits and Brandon Cook finished the game 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
    Tidick went 2-for-2 with a double, walk and a solo shot—which gave SHS the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth.
    “I saw a high fastball and I hit it. That’s what I do,” said Tidick, laughing. “I just got a hold of it and it went out. I just did what I could.”
    The Blue Devils snapped a three-game losing streak with their win over South Effingham (10-7, 7-3 Region). Statesboro started region play with three victories over Bradwell.
    “We started out really hot in sub-region play, then we faced Effingham (County) and dropped three in a row in some tough games,” said SHS baseball coach Jim Simmons. “We know South Effingham is a quality team. They’re sitting at the top on our side.”
    The Mustangs jumped out to a 2-0 lead early. After scoring a run in the first inning, South Effingham’s Turner Davis hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning.
    However, Davis would settle down and pitch three scoreless innings and close out the game in the seventh.
    “Griffin Davis did a great job pounding the strike zone. We backed him up defensively and got some timely hits,” Simmons said. “As far as his pitch count goes, he threw seven innings and did not throw 80 pitches. He was very efficient today. We want [opposing batters] either on base or out in three pitches. We don’t want to mess around. He used his fastball well and mixed it up.”
    Statesboro’s comeback began in the bottom of the fourth inning. Williams’ bunt single led things off. Two walks later, Statesboro would load the bases. Cook delivered on a two-RBI shot in the left field gap to tie the game.
    “Momentum is big, but I’d also like to think that despite the three loses at Effingham, that our kids are mentally tough. I really don’t know if there was a big change in the way we approached things [Monday],” Simmons said.  “They do a really good job of staying grounded. They know why they play the game of baseball. We deal with what happens [on the field] at the very end.”
    Due to inclement weather, the Blue Devils will play South Effingham today at 6 p.m. at Mill Creek. Statesboro will finish out the series on the road at South Effingham Wednesday. Game time is also scheduled for 6 p.m.