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SEB walks to win
Yellow Jackets capitalize on 16 base on balls
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    BROOKLET — The Laney Wildcats out-hit Southeast Bulloch 6-5, but 16 Yellow Jackets reached base on walks and SEB (9-8, 4-5 Region 3-AA) knocked off LHS 15-5 on the strength of a five-run sixth inning Tuesday.
    “You’ve got to give a lot of credit to our players,” said Yellow Jacket coach Stephen Hoyle, “for being patient at the plate and taking their swings when the good pitches came. If they didn’t come, they got their bases.”
    Southeast Bulloch got on the board early, putting up three runs in the first two innings. The game was broken wide open in the third when Wildcat starting pitcher Samuel Roberts walked the first two batters he faced. The bases were loaded when relief pitcher LaDerrion Redfield walked his first batter, and Casey Woodrum started the scoring when he ripped a single into left that scored two. A hit batsman loaded the bases again, and third baseman Dustin Stall scored on a wild pitch giving SEB a 6-0 lead. Cory Ward then grounded out to third scoring Woodrum. When LHS first baseman James McNeil tried to nail Morris Turner as he attempted to reach third on the play, he overthrew his third baseman and allowed Turner to score giving the Jackets an eight-run advantage.
    Laney started chipping away at the Southeast Bulloch lead in the top of the fourth with an RBI double by Redfield and some heads-up running by Samuel Roberts. The SEB lead was cut to five when — with Redfield on third — Raphael Holden grounded one to shortstop David McCarthy. McCarthy tried to nail Redfield at home plate but the throw was late.
    Despite a two-run top of the sixth, five was as close as the Wildcats would get. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Jackets took advantage of five more walks, a double and a game-winning walk-off RBI single by Ryan Burroughs giving the Yellow Jackets a 10-run lead and the win.
    Fisher Strickland got the win for SEB pitching five strong innings, allowing three hits, three runs and striking out six. He helped himself out by scoring three runs for the Yellow Jackets on a base hit and three walks.
    With the regular season winding down, Hoyle feels he needs to take good care of his pitchers. When Strickland was pulled, he was replaced with lefty Scotty Beegle. Beegle threw only six pitches before being pulled.
    “Scotty is up and down sometimes,” Hoyle said. “Some days he’s really on, and some days he’s not quite as strong. When he missed as bad as he did with that second batter… we figured we would go ahead and pull him out and bring another guy in.
    “We just figured we might have to use him tomorrow or Friday (against region foe Josey)… He pitches on adrenaline. There wasn’t much adrenaline coming in ahead 10 runs.”
    Southeast Bulloch returns to the diamond today when it takes on Emanuel County Institute at 6 p.m. and resumes to region play against Josey on Friday at 4  p.m.