The Bradwell Institute baseball team picked up another Region 3-AAAAA win on Friday by toppling Johnson High, 14-2, in Savannah. The Tigers pounced early and were able to get the game done in time before bad weather swept into the area. It was the confidence-builder the Tigers needed after suffering a heartbreaking region loss to Jenkins last Tuesday and a disappointing loss to the Long County Blue Tide Thursday at home.
It was a total team effort against Johnson, and as the Tigers’ produced hits, the Tigers’ defense increased in confidence.
Tiger coach Rhett Hellgren said his defense has struggled, especially when their at-bats are not producing runs. He said that is what happened against the Blue Tide.
“It puts extra pressure on the defense when you are not putting runs on the scoreboard,” he said. “We had some legitimate chances early (against Long County) and did not get the job done. We just have to keep working and getting better. Region play is the most important thing right now and we have to focus on them to get things turned around.”
In Thursday’s home loss to Long County, Blue Tide pitcher Shawn Mills earned the win by completing all seven innings in leading the Tide to an 8-1 victory at the Tigers’ field.
Mills gave up five hits and had 11 strikeouts, according to Blue Tide coach Brian Thomas.
The Tide had two outs with runners on first and second at the top of the first. Tide batter Austin Middleton hit a deep ball to the center-field fence.
Both Tide runners scored, but Middleton rounded second and tried for third, and the Tiger defense tagged him out.
The Tigers came up to bat and quickly had two outs. The BI boys loaded the bases, but Mills retired the next batter.
The Tigers returned the favor in the top of the second. The Tide loaded the bases but were unable to cross the plate.
Tiger Kyle Lannom hit a single, and Mitch Rogers hit a one-hopper towards third. The Tide’s third baseman bobbled the ball and overthrew first.
That gave Rogers an opportunity to head to second and Lannom to score the Tigers’ only run.
Tiger pitcher Mitch Rogers started the Blue Tide game but was relieved by James Moon after 85 pitches. Hellgren said they both did well but allowed a few too many walks.
“I think we had seven walks and 3-4 errors to go along with that,” he said. “We had 11 strikeouts and three pop outs to a pretty good pitcher. We have got to put the ball in play and we are struggling right now to do that.”
The Blue Tide managed some hits and used the Tiger errors and walks to score six more runs.
For the Long County boys, the victory was their second in a row after going through a five-game losing streak.
With the second half of the season coming up and several Region 2-AA still ahead, Thomas said big wins like the one against BI and McIntosh County Academy on March 16 are exactly what his squad needed to get them motivated for the games ahead.
“I think this win will springboard us into the second half of the season. Bradwell is a solid team, so it was nice to get a good win,” he said.
BI, 4-6 overall and 3-2 in the region, will play Tuesday at Groves in another region matchup.