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Mustangs tame Wolverines, improve to 5-1
Nick MIlbrandt
Mustangs pitcher Nick Milbrandt fires to the plate in the first inning Saturday. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald

GUYTON — South Effingham continued to have success against a challenging opening baseball schedule, topping Class AAAAAAA’s second-ranked Woodstock 5-1 on Saturday.

Less than 24 hours earlier, the Mustangs conquered Rome 3-2.

“We’ve had a good two days. Kaleb Johnson threw well last night, Nick Milbrandt looked like himself (Saturday) and we had some timely hits,” SEHS coach Todd Eubanks said. 

The Mustangs (5-1) have beaten two 27-win teams from 2021 (River Ridge and Woodstock) and 23-win Savannah Country Day during the first two weeks of the season.

SEHS was dominant Saturday against a squad that went to the Elite Eight of state last season. Milbrandt, the Region 2-AAAAAA Pitcher of the Year a year ago, used a steady diet of breaking balls to baffle the Wolverines on just three hits over five innings. He struck out five and walked only one.

Avery Sikes pitched two scoreless innings to close out the win.

And the offense was spearheaded by three underclassmen — junior Aaron Benton and sophomores Dru Futch and Tyler Cantaline. Each had two hits and Benton and Cantaline had runs batted in.

“The schedule we had, to be 5-1, we’re very pleased,” Eubanks said. “The kids are getting better each ball game. The bottom line is we still have better baseball to play, but we’re learning to play good against good teams and it’s going to pay off for us later on.”