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Mustangs show resilience during four-game win streak
Nick MIlbrandt
South Effingham's Nick MIlbrandt gets ready to step into the batter's box during a March 16 home game against Long County. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
I was talking to one of our coaches. He said, 'Tough sailors don't learn on calm seas.'
South Effingham pitcher/first baseman Nick Milbrandt
Noah Hollis
The Mustangs mob Noah Hollis (17) after he drove in Nick Milbrandt with the winning run in the eighth inning against Long County on March 16. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

GUYTON — The South Effingham Mustangs didn’t stay down long after getting floored in their opening Region 2-AAAAAA series.

Since getting outscored 27-10 while dropping three straight games to Glynn Academy nearly two weeks ago, South Effingham (10-5)  has won four in a row, beating Long County 5-4 on March 16, Metter 6-1 on March 17, May River 14-3 on Saturday and Bradwell Institute 12-2 on Monday. The Bradwell Institute game kicked off another region series that will resume in Hinesville on Wednesday and finish at The Corral on Friday.

All but one of the Mustangs’ final 15 games are region contests, giving them plenty of time to figure largely in to the state playoff mix.

“Even with what happened last week, we got better throughout the week,” South Effingham coach Todd Eubanks said after the victory over Metter. “We had one bad inning, which marred the week, but we got better.”

In the series finale against Glynn Academy, the Mustangs bolted to a seven-run advantage before falling 16-9. The Red Terrors scored 13 runs while sending 19 batters to the plate in the seventh inning.

South Effingham rebounded nicely despite the disappointing setback.

“Glynn Academy is a good ball club and we were not in the game. This week here — we got back to the basics again, stuff what we are trying to do, which is get behind the runners, trying to bunt, trying to steal, trying to do all the basics that we work on,” Eubanks said. “We are an aggressive team on the bases and we got a little intimidated at the plate (against Glynn Academy), which cut down on what we could do.”

Nick “Tiny” Milbrandt has been instrumental to the Mustangs’ recent surge. He scored the deciding run in the eighth inning against Long County and was strong on the mound against Metter, going the distance.

“The pitching performance out of Tiny — you couldn’t ask for a better job,” Eubanks said. “He was begging for the ball to go back out there. He only had 85 pitches and was ready to go.

“We’ve had back-to-back good pitching performances between (Kaleb) Johnson and him.”

Milbrandt was proud of the way his team responded following the Glynn Academy debacle.

“After that seventh inning — it hurt a lot,” he said. “That was more of a pride thing than a record thing, honestly. We thought we had it in the bag and kind of laid down, really.”

Milbrandt said the Mustangs learned a painful lesson.

“We’ve got to stay up (emotionally) the whole entire time,” he said. “I was talking to one of our coaches. He said, ‘Tough sailors don’t learn on calm seas.’

“I like that. That was pretty good.”