The first time the Long County Blue Tide and Bradwell Tigers baseball teams met, the Tide eked out a 14-11 win in Hinesville. On Tuesday, March 9, the result was much different as the Tide hosted the Tigers and cruised to a dominant 12-0 victory.
The Blue Tide got their bats going early as junior Jacob Struble was able to bring home a run after senior TJ Criswell walked and stole two bases to get in scoring position. Another walk set senior Noah Kuhaneck up with two in scoring position.
Kuhaneck crushed a ball into centerfield and got all the way around to third base and brought home two more runs. Senior Ethan Wells brought home another run two batters later with a sacrifice RBI to give his team the 4-0 lead going into the second inning.
The top of the second inning was dominated by two great defensive plays. Kuhaneck struck out his second batter of the game and Wells made a fantastic diving stop and throw to first for the second out. After a walk, junior Joseph Cammack made a great throw to second base to catch the stealing Tiger runner for the final out of the inning.
After batting the entire lineup in the first inning, the Tide were poised to do the same thing once again. Criswell walked again as did Struble, setting up junior Dwayne Rowe for the biggest play of the game.
Rowe smacked a ball into left field and was able to get all the way around the bases for an inside-the-park three-run home run to give his team the 7-0 lead. The Tide did load the bases later in the inning, but were unable to put any more runs on the board as they took a 7-0 lead into the third.
The Tide kept the Tigers off the board once again in the third inning thanks to two more strikeouts from Kuhaneck and a great play by junior Cole Moss at shortstop. The Tide got going again at the plate with Criswell’s third walk of the game and Struble reached after being hit by a pitch.
Rowe’s single set up the Tide with loaded bases and no outs. Kuhaneck came to the plate again and smacked a shot into the outfield. He was able to reach first and clear the bases, giving his team a 10-0 leada, but was thrown out trying to advance to second.
Wells finally got on base with a double two batters later and was brought home by senior Trevor Ray on his own double to put the Tide up 11-0, the score going into the fourth.
Cammack came from behind the plate and to the mound to take over for Kuhaneck and did a great job in relief, allowing only one hit over two innings. The Tide went into the bottom of the fourth with a chance to run rule the Tigers with four more runs.
While the Tide did not score four more runs, they gave themselves just a little more insurance as Struble recorded his second RBI single of the game, bringing home Moss.
With a 12-0 lead going into the fifth inning, the Tide knew they just needed three outs to finish out the game. They got that, allowing no hits while Cammack recorded a strikeout.
The Tide were paced by Kuhaneck, who went 2-3 with five RBIs. He also pitched three innings, allowing two hits and recording four strikeouts while allowing no runs.
Struble also went 2-2 from the plate with two RBIs. Rowe also made his huge contribution to the team with his inside the park home run.
The Tide are now 4-3 on the year and have won four of their last five games. They will host Vidalia in a tough test on Friday, March 12.