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Devils do damage with one big hit
Ryan Baggott gets in a swing against Statesboro closer Josh Ware during the South Effingham Mustangs’ 3-0 season-opening loss to the Blue Devils on Monday. - photo by Photo by Gilbert Miller

STATESBORO — Scott Sarratt’s two-out, bases-clearing double in the third inning was all the offense Statesboro needed, shutting down South Effingham 3-0 Monday in the season opener at Mill Creek for both teams.

“We played good defense and pitched the ball real well which is pretty much what I expected,” said Statesboro coach Chris Bishop.

South Effingham pitcher Jesse Osborne was in total control with two outs in the third when Brandon Wilson laid down a beauty of a bunt along the third base line. Josh Ware then scorched a ball to third that ate up Chris Zittrouer. Ware beat out the throw after Zittrouer recovered to put runners at first and second.

Zack Taylor walked on five pitches, bringing up Sarratt. The junior catcher sliced a 0-1 pitch to right center, clearing the bases for the game’s biggest hit.

Osborne went five innings for SEHS (0-1), surrendering three runs on just two hits. He struck out four and walked one. The  Mustangs finished with five hits off Blue Devil pitching.

Tony Hill started the game for SHS and pitched two innings, allowing one hit and striking out two. Hill gave way to Crawford Simmons (1-0) in the third. Simmons pitched two scoreless innings and struck out four.

With one on and one out in the fourth, Simmons’ first pitch to Zittrouer was hammered to right. But Taylor made a diving catch to preserve the shutout.

Taylor then came on in relief in the fifth and pitched two scoreless innings of his own, striking out three. Josh Ware earned the save by getting a groundout with two on and two out in the seventh.

The Mustangs travel to Jenkins Thursday at 5:45 p.m.