The Long County High School baseball team defeated Bradwell Institute, 12-2, on Friday. With the win, the Blue Tide swept both games played this year between the cross-county rivals.
The game started, looking like it was going to be a close one. The Tide had a 2-1 lead at the end of the first inning. But in the top of the second, two Tide freshmen, Shawn Mills and Luke Golden, nailed back-to-back home runs, to lead the Long County team to a 6-2 lead at the end of two innings.
Mills and Golden also teamed up for a big defensive play in the bottom of the fifth inning when the Blue Tide led 9-2. With one out Bradwell had a runner at first. The Tiger batter nailed a line drive to Mills at second. He got it to Golden at first and he tagged the runner. The double play ended the inning.
The Tigers, though down, never quit, and in the bottom of the sixth, they also got a big defensive play. With Tide runners at first and third, the batter squibbed the ball, relief pitcher Eran Hodge threw to catcher Josh Driggers. Driggers tagged the runner and threw a bolt to the first, beating the runner for a highlight double play.
But the play didn’t shift momentum and the Blue Tide scored three more runs in the inning.
In the game, Long County had 10 hits and no errors, while Bradwell had 6 hits, with 4 errors.
Picking up the win for the Blue Tide was Tommy Freeman, who went five solid innings, allowing five hits and two runs. The loss went to Tiger Jacob Dill.
Blue Tide head coach, Brian Thomas said, "We had great pitching today (starter Freeman and closer David Shuman), only giving up two runs, spread over six innings, just great pitching."
The coach also praised some of his young guns.
"It’s also good to see some of our younger guys producing; (freshmen) Luke (Golden) and Shawn (Mills), who had the home-runs, and also (sophomore) Brandon (Hope), who went two for four (at bat)", said Thomas.
The coach said his team is progressing.
"We’re getting better. We still have a ways to go, but we’re taking it one game at a time."
Tiger coach Rhett Hellgren said that with a third of the season passed his players still have needs.
"Intensity and concentration, we need it," he said.
With the win, the Tide improved their overall record to 5-5, while the Region 2-AA record stands at 1-3. With the loss, the Tigers overall record fell to 2-6, with their 3-AAAAA record sitting at 0-1.
On Monday, Bradwell will take on Wayne County and the game will not be easy. The Yellow Jackets have a 9-0 record and is averaging 10 runs a game while only allowing 2 runs. That game is in Hinesville, and begins at 6 p.m.
On Tuesday, the Blue Tide have a big region game with Brantley County at home. The Herons bring a 5-3 overall mark and a 3-1 region record. The Nahunta club is putting up 8 runs a night, while allowing 3 runs. So the match-up will be a good test to see where the Tide stands in the 2-AA Region. That game starts at 6 p.m.