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Screven edges SEB in regular-season finale

            Screven County used a three-run third to overcome an early deficit to defeat the visiting SEB Yellow Jackets 4-3 Tuesday night in what was the final 3AA-A regular season contest for each team.  Both teams will begin play in the region playoffs on Saturday with a doubleheader, the Gamecocks at home and the Jackets on the road.

            As subregion champions the Roosters will host the number four team from 3AA-B with the possibilities being Dublin, Vidalia or Bleckley County.  As the third seed from their subregion, the Jackets will hit the road to either Eastman to face Dodge’s Indians or Lyons to face Toombs County. If a third game is required to complete either series it will be played on Monday.

            For the Gamecocks the victory enabled the defending 3AA champions to finish with an unblemished 8-0 record (14-7 overall) in the subregion schedule.  “This should really give us a boost of confidence,” said Billy Pollock, “This is really what we needed to get ready for the cross region play.”

            With his pitchers on a tight pitch count, Pollock went to Daniel Griffin for three, Dalton Mills for three and closer Joel Collins for the final frame. The number one seed already sewn up Pollock said, “We planned to work those three coming in. No matter what the situation we were getting ready for Saturday.

            There were plenty of anxious moments for the victorious Gamecocks, even in the seventh.  Down by the lone run, SEB got a single from Eli Page to start the inning against Collins.  Robert White followed with a walk to move the tying run to second. When Page was thrown out attempting to steal third, White did not advance and a strikeout and a fly out to center ended the game.

            SEB took a first inning lead when Jaylen Cassedy’s apparent single turned into a two-run triple when the ball bounced over Gamecock centerfielder Dalton Mills’ head.  Scoring on the play were Tucker Bettis and Jared Page who each singled to start the two-out rally.

            Griffin got the Gamecocks on the scoreboard in the home half of the first as he singled in Mills, who had reached on a walk.  Screven took the lead with a three-run third highlighted by Collins’ two run double. “Their pitcher [Jared Page] shut us down early and for much of the game,” said Pollock. “He really made some good pitches but in the third we got some good swings and Joel [Collins] really gave us a spark with his hit.”

            The Jackets drew within a run in the fifth when Bettis launched a homer off Mills. Page followed with a single, but the threat ended when Cassedy grounded into a double play.  Page finished the night with a complete game loss, allowing six hits while walking three.  The lefty struck out four and also picked up a pair of hits as did Bettis and Cassedy.

            No Gamecock had a multi hit game as they were outhit 9-6 but catcher Auston Peel threw out a pair of runners and they turned the fifth inning double play.