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Futch’s gritty performance give SEHS a win over Brunswick
Dru Futch
South Effingham righthander Dru Futch struck out five and walked while pitching a three-hitter in the Mustangs' 1-0 win on March 26. (Mark Lastinger for the Effingham Herald.)

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald

GUYTON – Zeros crowded the South Effingham scoreboard Tuesday night, March 26,when the Mustangs baseball team played host to Brunswick.

Good pitching made it apparent in the early going one run could determine the ball game. Who was going to blink first?

Not SEHS senior righthander Dru Futch.

Futch was masterful with a tidy three-hitter and teammate Nick Cooper punched a run-scoring single to right field in the bottom of the seventh inning for a dramatic 1-0 win, the Mustangs’ lone victory in the three-game set.

“It was very stressful, but I try to work through stress,” Futch said. “It doesn’t do anything but hurt you in the end. In a 0-0 game, you have to fight. We’ve been through a tough stretch, but you can’t give up.”

Futch struck out five and walked one while pitching the complete game shutout. He’s been a constantly strong performer despite the Mustangs’ inconsistent run of five losses in nine region games with one of the top teams in the region, Glynn Academy, coming up this week.

“Dru’s a competitor on the mound,” SEHS coach Jesse Osborne said. “He has three pitches he can throw for strikes. He doesn’t have a 90 mph fastball but he works both sides of the plate. The kid knows how to pitch.”

Dalton Redmond
South Effingham shortstop Dalton Redmond looks the runner back to third base during a key fourth-inning moment on March 26 against Brunswick. The Mustangs won 1-0. (Mark Lastinger for the Effingham Herald.)
He knows how to wiggle out of danger too. Brunswick had a runner in scoring position in three of the final four innings, but went 0-for-6 and didn’t hit the ball out of the infield during those six at bats.

In the fourth inning, Pirate Brett Hickson led off with a triple.

Futch and his teammates didn’t surrender another 90 feet. Two groundouts and a strikeout later, another zero posted on the scoreboard.

“Brunswick has always had a good hitting team since I’ve been here,” Futch said. “As soon as he hit that triple, in my head I was thinking ‘battle.’ Don’t give them anything. The defense stepped up. I stepped up and we did what we needed to do that inning.”

While being key on the mound, Futch excels at third base and hits third in the lineup.

Osborne said some colleges have inquired about Futch. Some see him as a third baseman. Others see him as a pitcher.

Those who see Futch every day see him as a battler.

“I think he would have fought me for the baseball if I tried to take him out if the game went a few more innings,” Osborne said.

South didn’t win the series with Brunswick but getting a victory proved that on any given day the Mustangs can be a tough out.

“(The win) brings us back up and gives us a sense of pride that we can compete against these teams in our region,” Futch said. “Season-wise, we have to step it up. I have to step it up.

If we want to do anything this season, a good run starting now will definitely help us.”