The Long County Blue Tide baseball team took on a significant challenge on Thursday, Feb. 8 when they welcomed in the Wayne County Yellow Jackets for a scrimmage game.
It was a scoreless game through the first three innings. Nick Sizemore worked his way out of a jam in the second inning, striking out consecutive batters after allowing two hits. Sizemore finished with three strikeouts.
At the plate, the Tide struggled as they only got one hit and added another baserunner on a hit batter through the first three innings.
New addition Jamison Thomas was impressive on the mound in his lone inning as he hurled three strikeouts in the top of the third.
Junior Kenny Pickens took over in the fourth, but allowed four hits, walked a batter and hit another as the Yellow Jackets put up five runs to open up their offense.
The Yellow Jackets, a Class AAAA quarterfinal team from 2023, scored two runs in each of the next three innings and added three more in the seventh to take a 12-0 lead.
In that same stretch, the Tide recorded two hits, a Sizemore single and an Elijah Lester, and had just two other baserunners as they fell 12-0.
The Tide go into the 2024 season looking to host a playoff game for the first time since 2003 and advance past the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2021.
They will open the regular season with a tough matchup against Pierce County at home against the Bears on Tuesday, Feb 13. The Bears are two years off a semifinal appearance.