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Blue Tide beats Groves Rebels 12-2
Righty Britt Horne picked up the win with four solid innings on Monday, as the Blue Tide beat the Groves Rebels 12-2. - photo by Mike Riddle / Coastal Courier
LUDOWICI — The Long County High School baseball team got a solid win Monday night, beating the Groves Rebels 12-2.
Playing at Raymond Fulcher Stadium in front of the hometown, the Blue Tide hit the gate fast and never looked back.
Right-hander Britt Horne started the game shutting down the Rebels in the first inning, as the Tide’s Blake Strickland, Bryan Wingate (3-4 5 RBI), and Stetson Strickland (3-4 2 RBI) all had hits in the bottom of the first, resulting in a 3-0 lead. Horne was credited with the win.
In the second Groves scored one run, but couldn’t add any more in the third. And the Tide put up goose-eggs over the same two innings.
In the fourth, the Rebels added one more, making it 3-2. In the bottom of the fourth, Wingate was first up, but was thrown out at first.  Stevie Harrison was next at the plate, and managed a single to right field.  John Lindsey then cracked a single over the infield, setting up men at first and second with one out.  Earl Freeman then got a base hit and an RBI as Harrison scored.
The Groves catcher then bobbled a pitch, and Lindsey and Freeman advanced to second and third.  After this, Paul Lewandowski got a base hit and an RBI as Lindsey scored.  Before the inning was over, the Tide had added three more runs, extending their lead to 6-2.
In the fifth, left-hander Stetson Strickland relieved Horne and, over two innings, struck out four and didn’t allow any runs.
Over the same two innings, the bats of the Tide came alive, resulting in six more runs putting up the final score.
For the game, the Long County offense put up 13 hits, while solid pitching and good defense resulted in the team allowing only 3 hits.  Horne was solid for four innings, and picked up the win.
“The team played really well tonight,” Blue Tide head coach Brian Thomas said. “Our pitching was good from the start, and we had good relief pitching, a good night for our team.”
With the win, Long County (13-10) assures themselves a winning season with two games left.
The Blue took on the Savannah Christian Red Raiders (14-8) last night in Savannah, but results for the game were not available in time for this story.
Long County will have its final game this Friday, when they take on McIntosh County.  The Buccaneers bring an 8-15 record into the game, and will be looking to avenge the 14-0 thumping they took at the hands of the Blue Tide last month.
That game will be in Ludowici, and the first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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