For the past three seasons a rivalry has developed between the Bradwell Tigers and the Jenkins Warriors on the baseball diamond.
Two seasons ago the Tiger boys earned their first wins against the Warriors in five years and on Friday the boys battled it out at home for another win.
The Tigers won 8-6 in the Region 3-AAAAA contest.
The game went scoreless in the first inning and the Warriors scored two runs in the top of the second. Tiger Sage Sammons sent a clear message to the visitors, smacking a center field, solo home run as the lead-off batter. The Tigers loaded the bases and DJ Jefferson sealed a 3-2 lead when he laid down a squeeze. Darrell Hawkins and Ryan Desbiens also scored off two wild pitches to close the inning up 5-2.
Jenkins answered in the third, scoring four runs to retake the lead.
Back up, the Tigers faced two outs, but Stephen Felton was in scoring position. Hawkins hit a solid shot, bringing Felton home. With the game knotted at 6, the Tiger defense took care of Jenkins in the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers retook the lead on an RBI hit by James Moon.
The Tiger defense and pitchers shut down the Warriors for the remainder of the game. In the bottom of the sixth, the Hinesville boys notched another run for the 8-6 victory.
Sammons started and pitched for four innings earning four strikeouts, walking one. Moon pitched the last three, getting three strikeouts and walking one.
Sammons paced the boys at bat with 3 hits, 2 RBIs, one double and the homer. Moon and Demetrius Jefferson each had 1 hit and 1 RBI, Felton had 2 hits, Chris Bell made a hit and Desbiens had 2 RBIs.
After the solid thumping by region opponent Groves High on Wednesday and Friday’s win over Jenkins, coach Rhett Hellgren thinks his Tigers are coming together right when it counts – just before region playoffs.
“It is real nice to get a win,” he said. “We had been getting closer in the past few games, so it is nice to start coming out on top. The kids are playing like I knew they could and these next two weeks are going to be fun because they are starting to gain and play with confidence.”
The Tigers are 7-14 overall and 4-7 in the region. They pay at 5 p.m. Monday in Brunswick. After Brunswick the boys will have three region and one non-region game left on their schedule before playoffs.
The Liberty County Panthers had a tough game Friday. In Jesup, the Wayne County Yellow Jackets hit their way to an 11-1 victory. The Panthers dropped to 2-13 overall and 0-9 in Region 3A-AAAA.
The boys will play the top seed of the sub-region, Burke County, in region playoffs. The best of three games is scheduled to start with two games on Friday in Waynesboro. The Bears are 16-3 overall and 9-0 in their sub-region.
The First Presbyterian Christian Academy Highlanders played David Emanuel Academy in Stillmore Thursday. Rain ended the game in the third inning with the score tied 4-4.
Highlander Jake Lee started and gave up 3 earned runs. Coach Andy Yanzetich said the team committed two errors.
“We are not making the routine plays and that has cost us five games this year,” he said.
Richard Lovelady was 2 for 2, James Phillips was 2 for 2 with 2 doubles and 4 RBIs. The boys play at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Frederica Academy.