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Screven wallops Josey
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    SYLVANIA — The Screven County Gamecocks were too much for the visiting Josey Eagles as SCHS (14-10, 8-6 Region 3-AA) pitcher Cameron Haydon went the distance and struck out 13 allowing one earned run in the 11-2 Gamecock win.
    Screven got the scoring started in the bottom of the first after Walker Stewart scored on a wild pitch. Jon Rash added two more when — with runners on second and third — he ripped an 0-2 pitch to right center for a double. Chuck Kight (2-for-3, 3 RBI), the next Gamecock batter, slapped a come-backer to the mound that ricocheted off pitcher Brian Rouse allowing Kight to reach on an infield single. Rash was able to score on the throw to first and give SCHS an early 4-0 lead.
    Haydon threw 108 pitches and walked only three Eagles. He faced no more than five batters in any given inning.
    The only wrinkle in Haydon’s game came in the top of the fifth with the Gamecocks holding on to a 5-0 lead. Quan Roberson struck out swinging but reached base on a dropped third strike. Roberson then stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. He was able to score on a wild pitch and cut the Gamecock lead to 5-1. After Joel Walker walked, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Dominique Walters drove him in with an RBI single to right.
    “What I’m more proud of than anything,” said SCHS coach Billy Pollock, “is that (Haydon) walked very few today... I think we had three walks all day. We did make one error on their two runs, and walks always come back to haunt you. One of their runs was a walk and one of their runs was an error.”
    Screven responded to the Eagle two-run fifth in the bottom of the inning by adding four more to its total. The first two came on a two-run double-play series of events that started with Kight at the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. Kight pounded a single into left scoring two. He tried to stretch a single into a double and was thrown out at second, and Rash attempted to score on the throw over but was nailed at the plate.     When the dust cleared, two men were out and two had crossed the plate. A Josh Sheley RBI double that he skied to the gap in left center scored another and a Derrick Johnson RBI single capped off the four-run inning.
    The Gamecocks got their final two runs on a sixth-inning two-run homer by Jeremy Rosier.
    Screven County has one regular season game left — they travel to Augusta to take on Aquinas Tuesday at 5 p.m. — before the start of the state playoffs. A previous close loss to Westside dropped the Gamecocks down to fourth place in the region behind Swainsboro, Metter,  and Westside. The Josey win guarantees SCHS a spot in the Class AA state playoffs where it is projected to go on the road to Pierce County on Friday, May 11 to take on the Bears in the first round.
    The Aquinas game will keep Screven on their toes during the week before the playoffs begin.
    “We’re very relaxed,” said Pollock. “Matter of fact, I’m so relaxed right now with this group we gave them (a day) off. The second half of region play was a long hard road, and we played hard. We’ve been practicing three, three and a half hours every single day but we gave them Friday off. We’re going to hit it hard again Monday.”

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9404.