The Blue Tide baseball team ran its record to 3-0 Tuesday night, defeating the visiting Cavaliers 6-5 in a tense, back and forth contest in front of a big crowd in Ludowici. The game was originally scheduled to be played at Savannah’s Greyson Stadium, but was moved due to field conditions from recent rain in Savannah.
The Cavaliers grabbed an early lead and plated 2 1st inning runs, just as they did last year on their way to a 13-4 win over the Tide. Thomas Carter drove in the 1st run with a fielder’s choice ground out to short. Dayyan O’Neil followed up with an RBI of his own with a sharp single to center. The Tide and starter Noah Kuhaneck escaped further damage, turning a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
The Blue Tide would answer in the bottom of the inning on a single to left by 2nd baseman Luke Wells, scoring Dwayne Rowe who singled and reached 2nd on a passed ball. The Cavaliers wiggled out of a potential big inning, as the Tide collected 2 hits and 2 walks and were able to score just the single run.
Trailing 2-1, the Blue Tide mounted a rally as 1st baseman Carlos Cruz and SS Ethan Wells drew back to back 1 out walks in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Leadoff batter TJ Criswell then legged out an infield hit to load the bases. A Dwayne Rowe single to right tied the game 2-2, and a fielder’s choice RBI from Allen Crystal gave the home team a 3-2 lead.
The Cavaliers would come right back however to tie the game in the top of the 3rd on an RBI double by Carver. Trevor Ray came on in relief of starter Noah Kuhaneck, and despite retiring all 3 batters he faced, the 1st two via strikeout, a pick off attempt at 3rd bounced off of the runners helmet and out of play, allowing a run to score and a 4-3 Calvary Day lead.
Long County would not give in. The bottom of the 4th started with a Carlos Cruz single and an Ethan Wells double, setting the Tide up with runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Both runners would eventually score on a fielder’s choice off of the bat of TJ Criswell scoring Cruz and a 2 out infield single by Allen Crystal giving the Tide a 5-4 lead after 4.
The Tide added an insurance run in the 5th, and a big run as it turned out, on a single from Ethan Williams to score Kuhaneck. The Cavaliers cut the lead to 1 run in the top of the 6th by virtue of a Blue Tide error, a wild pitch and an RBI single by pinch hitter Jay Wetherington.
Leading 6-5 headed into the top of the 7th, the Blue Tide turned the ball over to Ethan Williams to close the deal. And despite walking 2 batters, Williams promptly struck out the side, not even allowing a foul ball, to preserve the win and a bit of revenge from the blowout of last year’s contest.
Dwayne Rowe paced the Tide offensively collecting 2 hits, an RBI, and a run scored. Crystal drove in 2 runs, and Luke Wells, Criswell, and Williams each recorded an RBI apiece. Cruz and Ethan Wells each scored 2 runs.
Trevor Ray got the win for the Tide in relief going 4 strong innings (4IP, 1H, 0ER, 4K, 1BB.)
The Tide were back in action Wednesday as they hosted neighboring Bradwell Institute.