Like a lineup with no outs in it, the Effingham County Rebels’ schedule has proven to be as tough as advertised.
The Rebels baseball team dropped a doubleheader to Class AAAAA Lowndes on Saturday in Valdosta, losing the first game 9-8 and the second game 3-1. The Rebels fell to 4-3 on the year with the defeats.
But there was still plenty for coach Brett Griffin to like about the weekend, which was to have included a game against Coffee on Friday. But that was washed out, and the Rebels forged ahead with their twinbill against Lowndes.
“We’ve grown a lot and learned a lot about the things we’re going to have to do offensively and the things we’re going to have to do defensively,” he said.
In the opener, the Rebels pushed across seven runs in the first three innings. But the Vikings, ranked sixth in the GACA coaches poll among Class AAAAA teams, scored five times in the bottom of the third to take the lead for good. Brandon Gilbert sparked the comeback with a three-run homer.
Tyler Stalvey quieted the Rebels’ offense, giving up one unearned run in 3 2/3 innings of relief.
“He did a good job of mixing up his pitches,” Griffin said. “It was something we hadn’t seen in a while. He threw strikes, and he threw a little harder. We hit a lot of balls hard, just right at people.”
Lowndes (3-3) got all the runs it needed in the second game in the first two innings to back winning pitcher Josh Purvis. Purvis, who closed out the first game by getting the last two outs, gave up three hits over four innings in the nightcap.
“I thought we played well, given the conditions,” Griffin said. “The kids stayed focused on what they were going down there for. We had some great at-bats.”
Effingham plays host to Savannah Christian, the 10th-ranked team in Class AA, Tuesday at 6 p.m.