It was an explosive game for Bulloch Academy’s baseball team on senior night Thursday afternoon. The Gators piled on seven runs in the first inning on the way to a 9-0 victory over Edmund Burke Academy for the final home game of the regular season.
Gators head coach Chris Bishop put his seniors in the starting lineup for their last tilt at Gator Alley and his team didn’t disappoint.
“We’ve been struggling lately, so we let the seniors start out here today and it was nice to get out on top,” Bishop said. “Anytime you’re ahead the game is played a whole lot easier. It was nice to get some runs early.”
Judson Brannen had two RBI for the game and Ian Hodges went 2-for-4 from the plate with an RBI single in the first inning.
BA (9-6) are currently tied for second place in the region with a few games left in the season.
“Right now, there’s about three teams tied for second. It may be a three-team battle,” Bishop said.
The Gators have region games against Pinewood and Milledge Academy left on the schedule for a chance to move up in region seeding ahead of the state playoffs.
“We really don’t know where we are going to end up at,” Bishop said. “We’re all still battling for a home-field playoff spot.”
BA flirted with a mercy-rule decision all game, but couldn’t push the final 10th run across.
Pitcher Smith Reeves kept Spartan hitters off balance all game, pitching a complete-game shutout. Reeves struck out the side in the fifth inning and pitched out of a jam in the sixth with runners on the corners and two outs.
“I just tried to get ahead and keep them thinking,” Reeves said. “I tried to get ahead with my fastball and keep them thinking and throw some off-speed pitches and it seemed to work so I kept that strategy.”
Unbeknownst to Reeves, the senior pitcher had a no-hitter going until the sixth inning.
“I really didn’t know about it until I came back to the dugout and everybody was looking at me. I was like ‘what’s going on?’ and they told me I gave up that hit...that’s baseball,” Reeves said, laughing.
After the game, BA acknowledged the accomplishments of its seven seniors for a senior night ceremony. Joshua Bishop, Brannen, Hodges, Dylan Marlowe, Reeves, Will Marsh and Lee Waters were all recognized.
“10 years from now they will be back and doing great things. Anytime you spend time with a bunch of kids more than your family you’ve got to thank them. It’s an emotional time, especially since one of them is my son, but you don’t realize it until it’s all over with,” Bishop said.
Horace Holloman may be reached at (912) 489-9408.