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Patriots inch past BA
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Bulloch Academy pitcher Walker Blitch (front) deals a strike during the Gators' Wednesday afternoon game against Pinewood. - photo by RAHN HUTCHISON/Special to the Herald

Chase Purvis blasted a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning to lead Pinewood to a 4-2 victory in Region 4-AAA baseball action Wednesday.

With the win, the Patriots (11-8 overall and 7-3 in region play) take a firm hold on second place in the region while Bulloch (9-7, 5-5) wind up their regular season in third place.

Bulloch held a 2-1 lead through four complete innings but the Patriots scored three in the fifth for the advantage and eventual winning margin.

In the inning, Taylor Lewis reached on an error and scored on Parker Gordon’s single to center to knot the score at 2-2. After BA starter Walker Blitch struck out Stephen Arnold, Purvis blasted a Blitch fast ball into the trees in left field for the lead.

The Gators could not comeback against Taylor’s tricky curveball and overpowering fast ball. He had 12 strikeouts in the game and gave up just four hits but five walks. Blitch suffered the loss for the Gators, giving up five hits and having five strikeouts.

Taylor missed the mark in the bottom of the third and the Gators took advantage of it to take a 2-1 lead.

Forest Spence drew a lead-off walk and stole both second and third. Bailey Smith struck out but made it to first when catcher Aaron Griner lost the handle on the ball.

Chris Young waited out a base-on-balls to load the bases with no outs. Win Lee walked to drive Spence home. Erik Renew singled past third to score Smith. Renew was 2-for-4 with one RBI.

But Young was caught at third and both Blitch and Loy Waters struck out to end the inning.

Pinewood went up 1-0 in the opening inning on two Bulloch Academy errors, two singles and a walk.