Mount de Sales won a back-and-forth battle in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader against Bulloch Academy at Gator Alley.
The Cavaliers ran away with the second game early on, notching 7-4 and 9-0 victories, respectively, to bounce Bulloch out of the first round of the GISA Class AAA state playoffs.
“This wasn’t quite our day,” Bulloch coach Chris Bishop said. “We made some mistakes and missed some chances in the first game. We never really got over that.”
With its season in the balance entering the second game, Bulloch ran out of gas.
Starting pitcher Joshua Bishop didn’t record an out and Mount de Sales plated four runs before the Gators could retire a batter. The Cavaliers pushed across seven total in the first inning, putting the game away early.
Hobby Mills – the third pitcher of the inning - recorded the final two outs of the first frame and pitched four more scoreless innings, but the damage had been done.
Maury Spivey closed out Game One on the mound for the Cavs and picked up right where he had left off in the clinching game.
Spivey went the distance for the Cavs, scattering five hits and never allowing a Gator runner past second base.
Mount de Sales tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the sixth inning and Spivey closed out Bulloch’s season in the seventh.
“Give (Spivey) credit,” Chris Bishop said. “He pitched well. He didn’t have the best stuff, but we’ve struggled with those kind of guys all year.”
The first game of the day was a marathon affair that carried on for nearly three hours. Bulloch Academy took an early 3-1 lead, but a disastrous fourth inning plated four runs for Mount de Sales and the Cavaliers never looked back.
Loy Waters started the game on the mound for the Gators and surrendered a run in the top of the first inning. Waters got the run right back as he was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the first, worked his way around to third base, and then scored on an RBI single from Hobby Mills off of Mount de Sales starter Adam Barth.
Joshua Bishop added an RBI groundout to make it 2-1 after one inning and Waters drove in Forrest Spence with a single in the second inning for a 3-1 advantage.
Waters cruised through the Cavaliers’ order in the second and third before the wheels came flying off of Bulloch’s defense in the fourth frame.
A pair of singles and a hit batter loaded the bases with no outs, but Waters coaxed an infield fly out of Chandler Robinson for the first out. Cason Suttles then lofted a shallow fly ball to right center. A play at the plated seemed likely as Farley Pipkens prepared to tag up from third, but Spence and Harrison Averitt collided, allowing Pipkens to score and all runners to advance safely.
Smith Reeves then overran a soft grounder for another Cavaliers run and Thomas Matthews smacked a two-run single to center for a 5-3 advantage.
“We fell short in parts of the game that we had been winning with,” Chris Bishop said. “We got good pitching and defense all season. Today, our pitchers didn’t throw their best and we missed some big plays that we usually make.”
Bulloch pulled within 5-4 in the fifth inning and was poised to tie the game before more miscues doomed the Gators.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Bailey Smith hit a deep fly ball to left. Joshua Bishop left third base early in an attempt to tag up, preventing the Gators from scoring.
On the mound in relief of Barth, Suttles retired Waters and Averitt.
Bulloch couldn’t muster another rally and Mount de Sales plated a pair of runs in the seventh to cap the scoring.
Mount de Sales now moves on to the state quarterfinals. The Cavaliers will take on either Loganville Christian or Southland Academy next week.
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.