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Still in fourth place, Tigers drop last 2 games
DeAnte Day catches a throw from the pitcher as Alton Malpass gets ready to back him up and a Warrior’s player is called safe in Friday’s 0-13 loss. - photo by By Patty Leon / Coastal Courier
The Bradwell Tigers lost two back-to-back games Thursday against Pierce and Friday against regional rival Jenkins.
While the loss to Pierce took all seven innings (1-8) Thursday it was the loss to Jenkins in 5 innings that hurt the Tigers’ shot at stepping up to a third place spot in 3-AAAAA.
Tiger coach Rhett Hellgren knew Friday’s game was going to be a challenge when his starting pitcher, Steven Dill, walked the first two batters and hit the third. By the end of the first inning the Jenkins Warriors were up by 2 runs.
“When you walk two batters and strike the other one, you just know he didn’t have his game on,” Hellgren said after quickly pulling Dill off the mound.  
In the second inning Kentrell Hargrove took the mound, but was not able to locate the strike zone. Although he was able to keep the batters a bit more at bay, the Warriors added 4 more runs in the second and 4 in the third.
“I pulled Dill because it was the best decision at the time,” the coach said. “Kentrell comes in and usually throws a lot of strikes but he had some trouble throwing strikes today too. The lack of concentration and intensity killed us. We were not ready to play and I take full responsibility for that.”
Alton Malpass took over on the mound in the fourth inning, but the Warriors added 3 more runs for the 0-13 win after 5 innings.
With one game left at home before hitting the road for the first round of playoffs, the Tigers are playing to regain a bit of their pride.
Groves has steadily improved since they last played the Tigers, when the Rebels won by one run. The Rebels have won 5 of their last 6 games, taking the number three spot in 3-AAAAA behind Camden and Jenkins. The Tigers on the other hand have lost 4 of the last 6 games.
“We are not where I want us to be,” Hellgren said. “I thought by now we would have improved, but we have not.”
The bright side is the Tigers have done well this season in road games.
“I’m not sure if it’s the bus ride that gives them the opportunity to focus on the game ahead or what,” the coach pondered. “But we’ve done real well on the road this season, we’ve played some of our best games away. You never want to play away, but it has worked for us so far.”
As the region stands today it still appears that the Tigers will travel to Valdosta for the first round of regional action.
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