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SEHS, ECHS have a rough week in baseball
Pick off at second
Glynn Academy shortstop Gus Gandy can't believe the call on a pickoff attempt of South Effingham's Nick Cooper (No. 4) at second base April 5. The Red Terrors pulled away in the late innings to beat the Mustangs 8-1. (Photos by Mark Lastinger for the Effingham Herald.)

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald


GUYTON – At the start of the baseball season, South Effingham coach Jesse Osborne said the region’s teams looked balanced and three-game series sweeps would be rare – one way or the other.

Sure enough, the Mustangs won a game and lost two to Glynn Academy last week, the fourth straight time they won either one or two games in a region series.

South (13-11, 5-7 Region 2-6A) beat Red Terrors’ starting pitcher Luke Barch in the opener. Barch was the Pitcher of the Year in the region last season, but surrendered a grand slam to Ty Cantaline before leaving with a no-decision.

The Mustangs won on a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning.

But momentum swung to the Red Terrors the next two games, 5-1 and 8-1.

South’s fielding errors cost the team mightily in the rubber game as a 2-1 game through five innings ballooned into a blowout with three unearned runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.

With the two losses, SEHS has been eliminated from first or second place in the region and is four games behind third-place Glynn (and the Terrors hold the tiebreaker) with six region games to play.

If the Mustangs remain in fourth place, they most likely would match up with Woodward Academy, Region 3’s undefeated first-place squad, in the first round of the Class 6A state tournament.

ECHS stumbles against Brunswick

ECHS coach Eric McCombie shook his head. No, he wasn’t crazy to think the 5-1 loss to Brunswick on April 2 could have been a win.

Instead, it was the second of three setbacks to the Pirates and extended ECHS’ region losing to nine of the last 10 games.

Here’s how Brunswick’s two-run second inning went. With one and no out, a high chopper bounced off the top of third baseman Aiden Garcia’s glove for an infield single. The next Brunswick batter bunted. Pitcher Dylan Huntley dove for the popup down the first-base line but couldn’t hang on to the ball for another infield single.

After an out, Dawson Parke hit a tailor-made, double-play grounder near the second base bag, but the ball was booted and two runs scored.

In the fourth, Brunswick loaded the bases with no out. Huntley got the next two batters without advancement before Roland Chance poked a double into the gap in left center to clear the bases.

“That’s what baseball comes down to sometimes, one or two calls, one or two pitches,” McCombie said. “Dylan labored but I liked the way he handled himself out there. After some adversity, he’d compose himself and go after the next batter. That’s maturity. He has the stuff to be successful.”

ECHS lost Games 1 and 3 in Brunswick, 6-3 and 9-4 respectively.

“We’re not having a good season, but you’d never know it if you saw the way the kids work in practice and in games,” McCombie said. “No one is giving up.”