In game that lasted slightly longer than an hour, Bradwell defeated Region 3-AAAAA opponent Ware County, 3-0, on Tuesday.
It was exactly the turnaround the Tigers needed after falling, 15-0, in Monday’s non-region game at Brunswick High.
Monday’s mound struggles, in which the Tigers walked eight batters and gave up 11 runs in the first inning and just never quite recovered, were in stark contrast to the Tigers defending their home field Tuesday. BI pitcher Kyle Lannom went the distance and earned the win, displaying an uncanny ability to change up speeds and get ahead of batters. Lannom gave up two hits and two walks, posted four strikeouts and got help from the Tiger defense, which played errorless ball.
“It was a great pitching performance by Kyle Lannom,” Hellgren said. “He came out with fire in his eyes, and we had the defense behind him. It is a great feeling when you play games like they are supposed to be played.” With solid pitching and defense from both squads, the game moved at a fast pace.
The game finally slowed down a bit in the bottom of the third inning, when the Tigers had one out and James Moon reached first on an error. Chris Nunn laid down a bunt, and Caleb Wells advanced both runners. Ryan Desbiens hit a sacrifice fly for an RBI and a 1-0 Tiger lead.
The fourth inning came and went in a flash, and by the bottom of the fifth a mere 40 minutes had elapsed. But in the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers slowed the pace with a good at-bat that gave them some breathing room. The Tigers had two outs when DJ Jefferson made it to first and Sage Sammons reached base. A throwing error allowed the runners to advance to second and third.
That’s when Chris Bell made the key play by hitting a two-run double.
“Chris Bell had the big hit of the night when he hit an outside pitch the opposite way for a double for two RBIs — that was the icing on the cake and let us have some breathing room for the rest of the game,” Hellgren said. “We had two great bunts by Chris Nunn for a base hit and a sacrifice bunt by Caleb Wells. I just wish that we could have this kind of intensity all the time. I knew they could do it, I just wished it could have been a little sooner in the year. Who knows what could have happened in the region if we had this kind of intensity all the time.”
The Gators only threatened to score once when a base runner made it to third with no out, but the Tigers held strong, retired the side and stranded the runner.
The Tigers, 8-15 overall and 5-7 in the region, host Glynn Academy at 6 p.m. tonight.