In the grand scheme of things, it didn’t affect the Effingham County Rebels’ standing in the Region 3-AAAA baseball playoff race. Yet Tuesday night’s 4-1 loss to Richmond Hill did not sit well with coach Brett Griffin.
“Missed opportunities,” he lamented after the Rebels (10-6) left five men stranding in scoring position. “I’m just disappointed in our approach at the plate.”
The Wildcats’ Alex Tucker held Effingham to four hits in a complete-game victory. He struck out nine and did not walk a batter.
“He did a good job. He threw strikes,” Griffin said of the Wildcats’ starter. “We were unable to make any kind of adjustments at the plate.”
The Rebels were held to two hits through five innings before Garrett Arnsdorff led off the sixth with a double. Josh Moreland’s single plated Arnsdorff with Effingham’s lone run.
Richmond Hill did all its damage in the first inning off starter Dylan Scott. Tyler Mitchell drew a lead-off walk, and after Scott struck out Cody Crow, Jeremy Goolsby singled, Nathan Kilburn walked and John Johnson singled.
Cody Rushing put down a squeeze bunt to bring in a run, and the Wildcats (8-7) eventually sent 10 men to the plate in the inning.
Scott went three innings, striking out five. He walked three and gave up four hits — all in the first inning.
“Dylan’s been solid all year long,” Griffin said. “He had one inning where he gave up a few hits and walked a few. Where we really performed poorly was at the plate.”
Evan Jarman struck out four in two innings of relief and was 2-for-3.
The Rebels will take their 4-1 region record into their home game Friday against Wayne County. The Yellow Jackets also are 4-1, with their only loss coming to Effingham.
Ware County, which had been atop the region, lost to Wayne on Friday and Brunswick on Tuesday.