BROOKLET – Southeast Bulloch recorded its second run-rule victory over Portal in as many weeks as it rolled to a 10-0 victory in five innings Monday evening.
The Yellow Jackets (3-1) exploded for six runs in the bottom of the third and three SEB pitchers combined to keep the Panthers (0-3) off the scoreboard.
“We had did some thing pretty well tonight,” said SEB coach Brandon Peterson. “We had a few guys throw well for us. It’s still early in the season and there are some things that we still need to work on, but it’s good to get these early wins.”
Portal’s biggest downfall was the inability of its pitchers to consistently find the strike zone.
Three Panther pitchers combined to walk six and hit two more as the Jackets needed only four hits to get all of their runs across.
The control issues started early as Eli Page and Gage Weaver drew walks around a Portal error to give SEB a 1-0 lead. Blake Fulmer knocked in another run when he drew a bases loaded walk and J.D. Smith’s RBI ground out put the Jackets up 3-0 after the first inning.
After Portal starter Hunter Oglesby got out of the second inning unscathed, the Jackets blew the game wide open in the third.
Seth Morgan got the rally started with a leadoff walk and Fulmer singled him to second. Smith walked to bring in Carl Smith from the Panther bullpen, but he dug the Panthers in deeper as he issued a walk and hit a batter to force in another run.
Leading 6-0, Page rifled a line drive to right field to bring in two more SEB runners and capped the Jacket rally when he scored on Weaver’s sacrifice fly.
“We were pretty patient at the plate,” said Peterson. “We did a good job of waiting until we got some good pitches to hit and then getting the runners over.”
While Portal’s pitchers struggled, the arms for SEB were in top form.
Carl Smith’s single in the second inning was the Panthers’ only hit on the night and J.D. Smith and Morgan allowed just one Portal base runner to go along with four strikeouts over the final two innings.
A lack of pitching depth hurt the Jackets last season as they came up just short of the state playoffs, but this year is shaping up to be a welcome turnaround.
“There are a lot of arms that we can go to this season,” said Peterson. “If we can get out pitchers to consistently get the ball over the plate, I think that our defense can play very well behind them.”
With a good start to the season under their belt, the Jackets will face even better competition in the next week before region play starts up.
SEB travels to Savannah Christian Thursday and heads to Hinesville to face Liberty County next Monday.
“We’ve got some tough games coming up,” said Peterson. “There are still some guys that we’re getting a look at and some fundamentals that we want to improve before we begin region play.”
Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.