Fifth-ranked Pierce County split a pair of Region 1-AAA West affairs last week falling to Brantley County and beating Dodge County.
The Bears (12-3 overall, 2-1 Region 1-AAA West) lost 9-8 at Brantley County last Tuesday. The win by the Herons was the first against the Bears since 2005 ending a 20-game losing streak in the series.
PCHS bounced back to capture a one-run decision Friday night against visiting Dodge County posting a 4-3 come-from-behind win.
The Bears traveled Tuesday to Toombs County and will host Appling County at 6 p.m., Friday.
Herons 9 - No. 5 Pierce County 8
Kade Rowell’s two-out, two-run single to center capped a three-run rally in the fifth inning as Brantley County rallied for a wild win over the Bears.
Trailing 7-6 entering the bottom of the fifth, Hunter Kimbrell drew a leadoff, four-pitch walk to start the inning. Kolby Simonin executed a sacrifice bunt to move Kimbrell into scoring position.
Following a groundout by Jared Bartlett (1-for-3) that advanced Kimbrell to third, Kole Clark (2-for-3) was hit by a pitch putting runners on the corners. After Clark took second on defensive indifference, Rowell stroked an 0-1 pitch to center plating Kimbrell and Clark with the tying and go-ahead run. James Morgan (1-for-2) lined the ensuing pitch for a run-scoring double to left giving the Herons a 9-7 advantage.
Mikel Collins (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 K, 2 BB) came on to get the save working out little jam in the seventh. Collins alternated strikeouts and walks with the first four batters retiring the final out on a routine fly to center.
PCHS scored twice in the first against Bartlett (5+ IP, 10 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 4 K, 3 BB, 2 HBP, 1 WP) on a runs-scoring double by Cody Williams (1-for-1) and a sacrifice fly by Klay Allen (2-for-3).
BCHS responded quickly with a three-run rally in the bottom half of the inning against Allen (.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 K, 2 BB, 2 HBP). Clark legged out an infield hit with Rowell drawing a walk and Morgan getting hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Jake Thrift (1-for-4) lifted a sacrifice fly to left scoring Clark to cut the deficit to 2-1. Garrett Jewett (1-f0r-4) was hit by a pitch to re-load the bases. Collins followed with a walk forcing home Rowell with the tying run. Kimbrell’s RBI fielder’s choice scored Morgan for a 3-2 lead.
PCHS tied the score in the second. Walker Sinclair drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a double by Derrin Cox (1-for-4). Luke Revels’ (1-for-3) run-scoring single followed to even the score at 3-apiece with nobody out. Bartlett escaped futher damage with a sacrifice bunt, a fielder’s choice groundout and a strikeout.
The Herons recaptured the lead pushing across a run in the bottom half of the inning against Seth Horton (4.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 6 K, 2 BB, 2 HBP).
Bartlett started the inning with a single, Rowell was hit by a one-out pitch and Morgan followed with a walk to load the bases. Thrift’s squeeze play plated Bartlett.
PCHS took the lead in the third scoring twice. Williams was hit by a pitch, took second on an error and third on passed ball. Allen followed with a run-scoring double and eventually scored on Sinclair’s RBI groundout for a 5-4 lead.
The Bears added two more runs in the fourth extending the lead to 7-4. Stetson Bennett (2-for-4) started the rally with a two-out single. After Logan Paul (2-for-4) beat out an infield hit, the pair pulled off a double steal ahead of an intentional walk to Williamson. Allen delivered a two-run single to left.
BCHS responded with a two-run rally in the bottom half of the frame to close the margin to 7-6. Clark singled to left, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on an error off a ball hit by Morgan. An infield single scored Morgan, who had moved around the bases on an error and stolen base.
Pierce, trailing 9-7 after the three-run fifth, closed the gap to 9-8 with a run in the sixth. Bennett led off with a double to chase Bartlett. Collins fanned the first batter he faced with Bennett swiping third. Williams lofted a sacrifice fly to center scoring Bennett.
No. 5 Bears 4 - Dodge County 3
A balk on a two-out, 1-2 pitch with runners on the corners produced the winning run as PCHS rallied to beat the Indians.
Down 3-0 entering the sixth inning, the Bears scored three times to tie the score. Paul (1-for-4) reached on an error to start the frame with Williams getting hit two pitches later. Following a passed ball to move the runners up, Ben Tuten (2-for-3) lined a two-run single to center cutting the deficit to 3-2. Tuten was gunned down at second on the play.
Allen (1-for-3) laced a single to left ahead of a Sinclair getting hit by a pitch. Following the second out, Cox delivered a first-pitch, pinch-hit single to scoring courtesy runner Bryce Bowen with the tying run.
Bennett drew a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the seventh after Williams (3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 7 K, 1 BB, 1 WP) escaped a second and third, one-out situation in the top half of the inning with consecutive strikeouts. Bennett stole second and third, but was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the inning trying to score on a groundball to short by Williams.
Tuten’s single to center was followed by Williams’ theft of third and the game-winning balk call.
Dodge County scored a run in the first against Allen (4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 K, 3 BB), who pitched shutout ball over his next three innings of work. Allen wiggled his way out of a second and third, two-out situation in the fourth.
PCHS stranded two runners in the first, including one at third, hit into an inning-ending double play with two out in the third, and left a runner at third in the fifth.