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Statesboro dominates LCHS

    The Statesboro Blue Devils took a hit in the Region 3-AAAA standings with a pair of losses last week, but have in style. Statesboro notched a non-region win over Bradwell Institute Monday and mauled region foe Liberty County by a score of 10-0 in six innings Tuesday night at Mill Creek Regional Park.
    The Blue Devils (9-5, 2-2) got a dominating pitching effort from Tyler Brown. The tall righty went the distance, allowing just four hits and striking out eight.
    Daniel Sands, Blakely Brown and Jackson Ware all recorded two-run single on the night. Ben Saunders went 4-for-4 and also picked up an RBI. Statesboro scored one run in the first before taking control with four in the third. The Devils added three more in the fifth and brought the game to an early end with one in the sixth.
    “It was big for us to get this win,” SHS coach Jim Simmons said. “We didn’t play our best in the last couple of region games. I thought that we came out tonight and did all of the things that we had to do to get a win.”
    Tyler Brown was roughed up in his previous outing, but looked to be in top form Tuesday night. He consistently got ahead in counts and was able to stay in the zone to keep his pitch count down.
    “Tyler kept the ball down and did a good job of using his off speed stuff,” Simmons said. “I was a little concerned about him getting a good feel for his pitches with the cold weather, but he didn’t seem to have any problems.”
    Already up 1-0 in the bottom of the third, the Devils gave their starter plenty to work with.
    Ware led off the frame with a double and advanced on a single by Colin Chance before Blakely Brown drove both home with a single to center off Liberty County starter Jacarri Roberts.
    Saunders followed with a single before Sands notched his 2 RBI hit.
    Roberts wasn’t able to hold off the Statesboro bats, but he was able to strike a blow for the Panthers’ offense. Tyler Brown cruised through the first four innings without allowing a hit and surrendering just one Liberty base runner, but Roberts led off the fifth with a single through the left side.
    Vince Smith launched a one out double to left to move Roberts to third, but Brown coaxed a pop up and a weak grounder to escape the jam without allowing a run.
    Roberts lost his command in the sixth inning, issuing two walks after a leadoff single by Saunders. W.C. Hodges drew another free pass to bring in Diquan Brunson — who was running for Saunders — to end the game an inning early.
    The Devils will continue their sub-region slate Friday as they travel to Wayne County. Statesboro dropped a 12-0 home decision to the Yellow Jackets last week.

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.