The Long County varsity baseball team kicked off its season with a victory Monday by defeating Claxton, 15-3, in Ludowici.
Playing in front of a large number of hometown fans, the Blue Tide put on a batting clinic in the non-region win. Three Blue Tide batters had multi-hit games. Cody Fleck was 4 for 4, Tristan Goodro was 3 for 4, and Chase Rogers was 2 for 4.
On the hill, winning pitcher John Christiansen allowed one run in an eight-strikeout performance.
“Our guys stepped up to the challenge and executed well … it’s always good to win your first game. It sets a good tone for our opening week,” said Blue Tide coach Brian Thomas, who added that getting a win against a well-coached team like Claxton is a plus.
Thomas said the goal for this year’s team is to win Region 2-AA. Last year, the Blue Tide had a disappointing year, going 8-18 overall and 3-13 in the region. However, there were several times during the season in which the team shined and showed the potential to meet this year’s goal.
If the Tide is going to be successful this year seniors Rogers, Christiansen, Luke Golden, Jacob Turner, Shawn Mills and Shane DeLoach will need to have solid years.
“I expect these six seniors to be positive influences on their teammates,” Thomas said.
Thomas said that he will need his seniors to be good leaders on and off the field and for some younger players to step up and play well for that to happen. He said some of the underclassmen who will need to “step up” are Fleck, Goodro, Austin Simmons, Clay Strickland and Cole Ray.
The Blue Tide is scheduled to be back on the diamond at 6 p.m. today to face New Hampstead Phoenix in Ludowici. This is the first game of the year for the Savannah team and the first time that the two schools have met on the baseball field.