Southeast Bulloch (5-4, 4-4 Region 1-AAA) battled for seven innings to defeat region foes Island High School in a 5-3 victory Tuesday night. The win not only gave the Yellow Jackets a much-needed region win, but extended the team’s win streak to five games after starting the season 0-4.
After the win over the Sharks, SEB now sits at .500 in the region.
Bryce Harnage pitched a complete game against the Sharks and Cole Mincey had the game-deciding two-RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to put the Yellow Jackets ahead for good 5-3.
“It was a great win for us, but we still have a lot of work to do. We’re not going to be complacent at where we’re at,” SEB head coach Brandon Peterson said after Tuesday’s victory.
SEB had a rocky first inning against the Sharks, allowing IHS to plate three runs, however, Harnage took control of the game and sat down 18 batters in a row on the way to the team’s win.
“We had a tough first inning but we kept coming back. A lot of the credit goes to Bryce Harnage on the mound. After the first inning he kind of settled down and pitched outstanding. He gave us a chance to stay in it,” Peterson said. “We’ve played a couple of close games here so the guys have confidence that if the game is tight we can pull out a win.”
Down 3-0 in the bottom of the first, Matt Shumate started the Yellow Jackets’ rally with an RBI double over the left fielder’s head, scoring Harnage from first base.
The Yellow Jackets would strike again in the fifth inning as Harnage helped his own cause with a sac-fly RBI.
“This win puts us in first place in the sub-region and gives us a little more confidence going forward,” Harnage said.
SEB managed to tie the game up at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning on a Rigsby Stewart RBI single up the middle. With runners on second and third in the bottom of the sixth, Mincey had the clutch hit to put the Yellow Jackets on top.
Coach Peterson felt confident in his sophomore pitcher, who hadn’t allowed a runner to reach first base since the first inning, to finish out the game and shut the door on the Sharks in the top of the seventh.
“After the first inning I really settled down and let the defense work and we got outs. They were chasing my fastball a lot and my changeup was a good two-strike pitch,” Harnage said after the game.
SEB won’t have long to relish in its victory. The Yellow Jackets will travel on the road to Swainsboro (2-9) today. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Horace Holloman may be reached at (912) 489-9408.