The biggest hit of the night might not have been Garrett Arnsdorff’s two-run triple or even D.J. Collins’ sacrifice fly that eventually ended the game. It might have been a hit that didn’t even travel 90 feet.
Daniel Farmer dropped down a bases-loaded squeeze bunt that hugged the third base line and rolled to a stop on the infield grass. It brought in a run and kept alive a third-inning rally that sparked the 11-1 victory Tuesday night for the Effingham County Rebels.
“That’s the first successful squeeze we’ve done in a while,” Rebels coach Brett Griffin said. “It gave us a little confidence, and it got the ball rolling.”
The Rebels (5-3) had scored the game’s first run in the inning without the benefit of a hit. A walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch allowed Josh Moreland to scamper home. Farmer’s bunt plated courtesy runner Joseph Snooks to score.
On the next pitch, Justin Wilson’s pop fly to center plopped among the Red Raiders fielders, bringing another run. After a walk to Josh Brant, another wild pitch brought in another run, and Arnsdorff lined a two-run single to right field off first baseman Nate Sisolak’s glove.
Arnsdorff advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Dylan Scott’s groundout chased him home. The Rebels put runners on first and second after Scott’s grounder with two out before Kaleb Wynn got the final out. By the time it was over, the Rebels had eight runs on three hits.
“Their starter (Tyler Oglesby) came out and did a good job,” Griffin said. “I told our guys (to) let him get his pitch count up and let things progress.”
Savannah Christian, ranked 10th among Class AA teams, got its lone run when Jonathan Hester led off the fourth with a homer off Zach Dotson. But a rain delay ensued, and when play resumed, the Rebels ended it quickly.
Arnsdorff tripled in two runs in the home half of the fourth, and Collins’ sac fly brought in Justin Spellmeyer with the game-winning run in the bottom of the fifth.
There were some surprises for Griffin in the win, namely the margin of victory against another of the Coastal Empire’s standout programs. The Rebels will travel to SCPS next Thursday.
“They’re a good team,” he said.
He was also amazed they were able to get the game in, as the rain was heavy at times.
“The field held up well,” Griffin said.
Effingham will host Brunswick on Tuesday in its Region 3-AAAA opener.