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Islands takes comeback win in Brooklet

    BROOKLET — Southeast Bulloch wasn’t able to preserve its unbeaten run in Region 1-AAA competition as the Yellow Jackets dropped a 7-4 decision to Islands Tuesday evening.
    The Jackets (3-4, 3-1) held leads throughout the early portions of the game, but the Sharks (3-3, 2-2) used a three-run top of the fourth inning to claim the lead for good.
    In that frame, Bryce Harnage relieved SEB starter Ryan Adams and struggled to find the strike zone as he walked the first three batters he faced. Chandler Wilkinson smacked a two-run single into right field to give Islands a 5-4 advantage.
    Harnage did a good job of regaining his composure and got out of the inning allowing just one more run on an RBI groundout by Charlie Harrell, but the damage had been done.
    “We just put a few too many guys on base today,” SEB coach Brandon Peterson said. “Overall, we made some good plays and had guys throw well for us, but we made mistakes that turned into runs (for Islands).”
    Trailing 6-4 in the bottom of the fifth, the Jackets were poised to storm back into the lead before running out of steam.
    Harrell relieved Sharks starter Dominic Ingram in the fourth and cruised through his first inning of work before running into trouble.
    Harrell surrendered a leadoff single to Drew Rushing in the fifth, walked Zach Hall, and then couldn’t field a popped up bunt by Harnage that found a perfect landing spot short of third base.
    With the bases loaded and no outs, Harrell dug down and pulled himself out of the fire. Daniel Sanford, Sam Cromley and Klayton Carter all struck out as the Sharks escaped the jam.
    “It was disappointing not to come through in that situation,” Peterson said. “It’s pretty simple. When you put a lot of guys on and leave them on, it’s going to be hard to succeed.”
    The Jackets’ hopes were much brighter early in the game.
    Keegan Carter drew a leadoff walk in the first inning and worked his way around to score on a fielder’s choice by Drew Rushing. Rushing advanced to second when Hall walked and scored on a single by Harnage.
    Islands answered back in the second frame.
    Adams had a hard time dialing in after a clean first inning as he issued a walk to Ingram and fell behind Jeffrey Pearce before allowing a single to put runners at first and third. Caleb Barnes then hit a one-hopper to third, but Ingram slid around the tag at the plate.
    Adams nearly got out of trouble, but Klayton Carter misfired on Taylor Ramage’s two-out grounder to shortstop, allowing the Sharks to tie the game at 2-2. Islands took the lead one batter later as Wilkinson shot an RBI double down the right field line.
    SEB received a run in the second off of a Keegan Carter two-out triple and regained the lead on an RBI single from Harnage in the third before Islands went ahead for good in the fourth.
    The Jackets will try to get back on the winning track Friday as they host Appling County in a game that is being rescheduled after a rainout last week.

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404