Bulloch Academy pounded out 11 hits Tuesday against Region 4-AAA foe Trinity Christian School but still came up on the short end of the stick.
“We had better swings on the ball,” BA head coach Dennis Dove said after his Gators lost a 7-6 heartbreaker. “I thought we battled hard. We just came up short.”
Even thought they hit the ball well, the Gators (7-5 overall and 4-4 in region play) committed four crucial errors and senior pitcher Walker Blitch was tagged for two home runs.
“They capitalized on our mistakes,” said Dove. “You can’t make those kinds of mistakes. It will eventually catch up with you. Walker did a great job on the mound. There were just those two pitches that they didn’t miss.”
Those two pitches came in the first and fourth innings and accounted for five runs.
In the top of the first, Ryan Garew singled and Chris Hobbs reached on an error. Cowboy Benton connected with a Blitch fastball and deposited it on the far side of the left-field fence.
The Gators got one back in the bottom of the inning. Senior Win Lee singled to left, stole second and was driven home by junior Erik Renew’s single to right.
In the fourth, TCS’s Benton singled to left and Jake Keen blasted a shot to straight-away center for a two-run homer and a 5-1 lead.
But the Crusaders weren’t done as they took advantage of two BA errors to plate two more runs and take a 7-1 advantage.
Bulloch battled back in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs on four hits to cut the lead to 7-4.
In the inning, sophomore Jarrett Humphries singled to center and took second on sophomore Loy Waters’ looper over short. Humphries went 3-for-4 on the afternoon.
Sophomore Forest Spence reached on a fielder’s choice but took second when the double-play throw to first was wide. Humphries scored on the overthrow. Sophomore Bailey Smith doubled to right. Junior Chris Young slapped his own double to the right-field corner, scoring both Spence and Smith. Young was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Blitch and a heads-up Gator defense kept the Crusaders from adding to their lead in the late innings.
Bulloch trimmed the Trinity lead to one, 7-6, in the bottom of the sixth.
In the inning, Hobbs came on to pitch for the Crusaders. Smith smacked a single to left, took second on a wild pitch and scored when Lee’s hot shot down third hopped over the bag. Lee stole second, took third on a Renew ground out and scored on a Trinity miscue of a hard-hit ball by Blitch. Smith went 2-for-4 on the afternoon while Lee was 2-for-4 with one RBI.
After sitting down the Crusaders in the top of the seventh, the Gators had the opportunity to battle back for the tie or the win. But Hobbs got three straight BA batters to ground out to end the inning and preserve the TCS victory.
Blitch scattered seven hits over the seven innings, fanned four batters and walked only one.
The Gators host non-region foe David Emanuel Academy Thursday at 4 p.m.