The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jacket coaches understand that they play in a weak region and try their best to play some of the toughest competition around to make up their non-region schedule.
Monday night the Jackets welcomed in the No. 1-ranked 10-0 Pierce County Bears to Brooklet and despite outhitting the Bears seven to six, SEB went down by a count of 15-4 in a run rule-shortened affair.
The story of the game was the struggles on the mound for the Jackets. A week removed from an impressive no-hitter, Terry Turner had his issues with finding the strike zone as he walked five runners in two and two-thirds' innings pitched. His defense didn’t help things as seven of the nine runs he gave up were unearned.
The next two Southeast Bulloch pitchers struggled with command as well as they combined for eight more walks and hit two batters as well.
“We came out pretty strong, putting two runs on the board in the first,” said Southeast Bulloch coach Brandon Peterson. “The tale of the game was we just put too many people on base. We walked or hit 15 batters and you sure can’t do something like that against a team like Pierce County and win a game.”
The one area Peterson felt the Jackets did pretty well in was offense. The Jackets actually took an early 2-0 lead on consecutive hits from Tyson Harnage, Riley Emrich and Logan Herring. Emrich went 2-3 with one RBI and Herring had two RBI. Gage DiGiovanni had a pair of hits in going 2-3.
“I did feel like at least on offense we did pretty good,” said Peterson. “I felt like we swung the bats pretty well and played alright on defense but our pitching has to be much better. Terry had a blister on his foot and I could tell that was bothering him so hopefully he can heal that up but overall, we have to do better on the mound.”
The struggles within Region 3-AAA continue as the Yellow Jackets received word this week that their doubleheader with Savannah High has been forfeited due to the Blue Jackets not having enough players to field a team. The Jackets also had Wednesday’s game with Screven County postponed so their next game will be a rematch with Pierce County Friday in Blackshear.
“We schedule teams like Pierce because we know those are the kind of teams we will play in the state playoffs,” said Peterson. “We look forward to playing them again this week as it’s another great opportunity for us.”
The news wasn’t any better over at Mill Creek Park where the Statesboro Blue Devils lost their first region game of the season as they were run-ruled by Brunswick in a 13-0 defeat that head coach Chris Bishop said he felt coming.
“We didn’t have school today and those players who are joint-enrolled at Georgia Southern didn’t have classes either,” said Bishop. “I could tell in warm ups our focus wasn’t there. We were just not locked in and played pretty sloppy tonight. We talked to them after the game about the importance of coming ready to play every game, especially when it is a region game.”
The Blue Devils fall to 9-5 overall and 3-1 in region play. Up next the Blue Devils travel to Brunswick Wednesday and then return home Friday at 6:00 as they host the Pirates.
“We have a goal to try and win two out of three games in each of our region series,” said Bishop. “We can still accomplish that but now we have to win the next two. I feel like it’s important to put this loss behind us and regain our focus at Brunswick Friday.”