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SEB faces do-or-die Game 3 in second round of state playoffs
SEB Baseball
Redan catcher Adriel Martinez, left, gets the out at home on diving Southeast Bulloch baserunner Riley Emrich during the first inning in game two of Wednesday's playoff doubleheader.

The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets advanced to the second round of the state Class-AAA playoffs by winning a pitcher's duel in the first game and with a run-rule victory in game two. Wednesday, they got the run rule victory in the opener with a 12-2 win, but lost the pitcher's duel in the nitecap 2-1 as the Redan Raiders forced a third and decisive game Thursday at 2:00.

“Every game is its own animal in the playoffs,” said Southeast Bulloch coach Brandon Peterson. “We took advantage of some things in game one and really busted it open there with a good start from Gage DiGiovanni.  Game two was a pitcher's duel and terry Turner kept us in the game. I thought we had some chances and barreled up some balls but they made some outstanding defensive plays. Now we just have to get ready for Thursday.”

The Raiders saved their ace for the second game and Anthony Mateo delivered as he hed the Jackets to just one run on five hits while striking out seven. Southeast Bulloch had their chances but left runners in scoring position in four innings. 

Southeast Bulloch pitcher Terry Turner was just about as sharp as Mateo holding the Raider bats in check through five innings giving up just one run on two hits with six strikeouts. Turner’s problem was walks as he gave up five and left after throwing 100 pitches.

Turner left with the bases loaded and Dylan Lewis got out of the inning with a pop up for the third out. Lewis got in trouble in the sixth with a pair of walks and the Raiders capitalized with an RBI single by Adriel Martinez to give the Redan what proved to be the winning run. 

The Jackets opened the scoring in the first on a deep sacrifice fly to center by Logan Herring that plated Tyson Harnage. The Raiders responded with an RBI single Deniel Ortiz to tie the game 1-1.

“I thought we had our chances to take the second game,” said Peterson. “Their guy on the mound was pretty good and again they really played well defensively. We just couldn’t punch one across.”

Game one saw the Jackets jump out to an early 5-1 lead. The Raiders dug themselves into a hole with the bases loaded and proceeded to walk in one run, and allow another to score on a wild pitch. With the bases still loaded Carter Bowman delivered a bases clearing double to left to give the Jackets a 5-1 lead.

The Jackets added three more runs in the third. With runners on first and third Redan third baseman - made a great stop on a hard grounder by Logan Herring. He then attempted to make the throw to first from on the ground and threw the ball away for a 6-1 Jacket lead. Bowman added an RBI single and then Herring scored from third on a wild pitch for an 8-1 lead.

The Jackets tacked on a couple more runs in the fourth. Nick Anderson came through with a two-run single to left to extend the lead to 10-1. The Raiders added a run in the top of the fifth but the Jackets ended things in their half of the inning. Two straight balls that would have been out of most parks put the game away. Logan Herring hit a ball to the warning track in center for an RBI single. Conner Williams finished things off with a shot to about the same spot for a sacrifice fly and a run rule 12-2 win.

“We took advantage of them walking batters and struggling a little early on,” said Peterson. “We swung the bats well in the opener and we hope we can do that again Thursday.”

The two teams will play the third and decisive game Thursday at 2:00 in Brooklet. Senior Tyson Harnage is set to start for Southeast Bulloch.