Bulloch Academy christened its newly-renovated baseball field Friday afternoon with a 5-4 victory over Westminster of Augusta.
Sophomore Jarrett Humphries ripped a two-out double down the right-field line to plate junior Chris Young in the bottom of the sixth and the Gators held on for the Region 4-AAA win.
“It felt great to be at home,” said BA first-year head coach Dennis Dove. “We’ve been on the road all season so far.
New sod, new dirt and a lot of volunteering went into the preparation of the new home of Gator
baseball and the guys in green and gold didn’t disappoint the large home crowd.
Senior Win Lee blasted a two-run home run in the third inning and led the Gator offense, going 2-for-2 with three RBIs and a walk. He was also solid at short stop.
“He made some good plays for us on defense,” said Dove, “and carried us at the plate. It was really big for a senior to step up and show some of the younger guys how to do it.”
Senior Walker Blitch picked up his fourth win of the season. He scattered eight hits over seven innings, striking out five and issuing no walks.
“Walker was outstanding,” said Dove. “I couldn’t have drawn it up any better. He worked the zone well, something that he does about every time out.”
Westminster (1-4 overall and 0-3 in the region) got on the board first, scoring one run in the opening stanza. Leadoff Jeremiah Coleman singled to right, stole second and scored on Ned Pruitt’s single to right. But Blitch and the BA defense settled down to get out of the inning.
The Gators (5-2, 2-1) got the run back in the bottom of the inning. Sophomore Bailey Smith doubled to the gap in left center. One batter later, Lee stroked a double to right center to score Smith.
Bulloch went ahead 3-1 in the bottom of the third on Lee’s two-out blast to right center.
The Wildcats clawed back, knotting the score in the fourth with two runs on two hits and one BA error.
The boys from Bulloch added a run in the bottom of the inning for a 4-3 lead. Junior Clayton Rogers doubled to center. Junior Eric Renew pounded a two-out single to left center to plate Rogers.
In the sixth, WSA battled back to tie the contest at 4-4.
In the bottom of the inning, Lee led off with a walk. Young also drew a base-on-balls. Rogers laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, advancing Lee to third and Young to second.
Lee tried to hustle home on a passed ball to Humphries but was tagged a step away from the plate. Young went to third. Humphries took a 3-1 pitch to right field, drilling the ball over the first-baseman’s head and scoring Young for the go-ahead run.
“That was a really big hit,” said Dove. “Jarrett has been struggling for the past couple of game with some confidence issues at the plate. That knock went a long way to making those disappear.”
In the top of the seventh, Blitch had a put out and third baseman Rogers had two to secure the victory.
The Gators have three home games next week. They take on Augusta Prep on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., John Milledge Academy on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and non-region opponent Edmund Burke Academy on Friday at 4 p.m.