BROOKLET —Southeast Bulloch led in both games of a doubleheader against Savannah Christian Saturday afternoon, but shaky pitching led to a pair of comebacks as the Raiders took a 13-9 win in the first game and followed up with a 6-4 Game 2 win to complete the sweep.
Yellow Jacket pitchers did a good job of limiting Savannah Christian’s potent bats, but a combined 19 walks and two hit batters in two games proved to be too big of an obstacle to overcome.
"Savannah Christian is a very good ballclub," SEB coach Brandon Peterson said. "I thought we played pretty well in areas in both games, but we just can’t give away that many free passes. That’s too good of a team to give free baserunners to and they made us pay."
After taking the opening game, Savannah Christian touched up SEB starter Seth Morgan for three runs in the bottom of the first — SCPS was the home team in the second game as it was a makeup of a rainout in Savannah — of the second matchup.
Will Austin led off with a double and was singled home by Erik Davis. Nick Sharpley drove home Davis with a double to left center and Bryce Evans chased home Sharpley with a sacrifice fly.
Trying to salvage a split in the series, SEB fought back.
Morgan led off the second inning with a single and advanced to third when Gage Weaver blasted a drive to the fence in right field. Weaver stole second, then advanced to third as Morgan scored on a wild pitch by SCPS starter Robert Hooks. Tyler Brown then legged out an infield hit to score Weaver and make it 3-2.
The Jackets took the lead in the fourth as Morgan and Weaver again reached base to start the inning. A double by Ryan Adams brought home Morgan and Weaver crossed on a sacrifice fly for a 4-3 SEB advantage.
"We got some big hits in big sports," Peterson said. "Overall, I thought we had a good approach at the plate in both games. It just wasn’t quite enough."
Tyler Epps — who relieved Morgan in the third inning and escaped a bases loaded jam — couldn’t pull the trick a second time. Epps retired two of the first three Raiders in the bottom of the fourth, but three walks loaded the bases and a fourth free pass to Evans tied the game.
Adams relieved Epps and avoided further trouble in the fourth, but he issued a leadoff walk to Sharpley in the fifth. An error and a wild pitch advanced Sharpley to third base, where Jake Heater drove him home with a sacrifice fly.
The Raiders added an insurance run in the sixth and Davis came on to work the seventh inning for the save.
The final innings added insult to the injury of the day’s first game.
Weaver and Eli Page worked dutifully on the mound to keep Savannah Christian in check and the Jackets led 7-3 in the top of the seventh when the wheels fell off.
Davis — who homered and scored four times in Game 1 — led off the Raiders’ final frame by taking a pitch off the arm. Eight walks and three SEB pitchers later, 10 SCPS runners had crossed the plate and the comfy lead had transformed into a 13-7 deficit.
The Jackets scored twice in the bottom half, but couldn’t comeback from the meltdown.
"That’s just something that we can’t do," Peterson said. "Hopefully, we can take this as a lesson before we get into region play. We have the ability to play well, but we can’t make those mistakes against good teams and expect to win."
Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.