Bears baseball winning streak snapped by Ware County 3-16-16

Cody Williams hits a ground ball the other way during his first inning plate appearance.

Pierce County’s 10-game winning streak came to an end Saturday when the Bears lost to visiting Ware County.

The Bears (11-2 overall, 1-0 Region 1-AAA) continued to dominate 1-AAA East foes in the sub-divided region winning back-to-back games in Savannah on consecutive days. PCHS beat up on Jenkins with a 12-2 decision in six innings last Monday, March 7, and trounced Islands 13-1 the following afternoon in five innings.

Pierce opened region play Friday overcoming a 3-0 deficit to beat Tattnall County 8-3 in Reidsville. The Bears closed out the four-game week with a 4-0 loss to visiting Ware County for a split in the season series.

“That (Tattnall) was a big win for this team,” said head coach Greg Gay. “I hate that we played so poorly against Ware. Two trips to Savannah early in the week and then an emotional win and late night Friday night helped contribute to us playing so bad.”

PCHS traveled Tuesday to Brantley County to face the Herons and will host Dodge County Friday at 6 p.m.

“Now our focus is on the last nine region games,” added Gay. “We are going to take one at a time and see what happens. What is important is for us to get better every time we hit the field, whether at practice or in games. We have so much room for improvement and if we can close the gap of where we currently are and the team we are capable of being, we may be pretty good playoff time.”

Bears 12, Jenkins 2

PCHS broke away from a 2-all tie with an eight-run fourth inning and ended the game scoring twice more in the sixth.

Klay Allen (5.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 14 K, 3 BB) picked up the win with Logan Paul recording the final out.

The Bears racked out 13 hits with four players recording multiple hits. Stetson Bennett (two doubles, three RBIs), Ben Tuten (RBI), Seth Horton (double, two RBI) and Nick Golub led the way with two hits each.

Cody Williams (double, RBI), Luke Revels, Walker Sinclair, Kris Wishall (RBI) and Paul added a hit apiece.

PCHS scored single runs in each of the first two innings in building a 2-0 advantage. Tuten’s one-out, RBI groundout in the first scored Paul from third. Consecutive two-out singles by Sinclair and Golub was followed by a run-scoring double by Bennett.

The Warriors tied the score in the bottom of the second plating the first run on a run-scoring single. The second came home on a dropped third strike.

Pierce broke the game open in the fourth. Horton lined the first pitch for a hit and moved up when Sinclair’s grounder to third was bobbled for an error. Golub beat out a sacrifice bunt loading the bases. Bennett followed two pitches later with a two-run double for a 4-2 advantage.

After Paul drew a walk to reload the bases, Williams hit into a run-scoring fielder’s choice putting runners on the corners. Tuten executed a suicide squeeze with Williams racing to third on the play.

Allen beat out a sacrifice bunt that plated Williams for a 7-2 advantage. Horton lined a two-out, two-run double to left scoring and eventually scored on an error for the final run of the inning as the lead swelled to 10-2.

The final two runs came in the sixth. Tuten drew a four-pitch walk to start the inning with Revels delivering a pinch-hit single to center. Tuten stole third and raced home on the errant throw of the catcher with pinch-runner Bryce Bowen advancing to second. Bowen reached third on a groundout and scored on Wishall’s sacrifice bunt for the Bears’ last run.

Bears 13, Islands 1

The Bears used a four-run first inning and were never headed in knocking off Islands.

Williams (4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP) and Horton (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 K) combined to allow just two hits in the win over the Sharks.

Paul (two RBI) led PCHS’s 13-hit attack with a career-high four hits in four plate appearances. Bennett and Tuten (RBI) added two hits apiece. Allen (double, RBI), Revels (RBI), Horton (RBI), Derrin Cox (double, two RBI) and Blane Jowers contributed a hit each.

Pierce’s first run of the opening inning came on a run-scoring hit by Paul, who was thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double. Allen’s RBI double scored Wishall, a courtesy runner for Williams, for a 2-0 lead. Allen scored on an error of a ball hit by Jackson Knowlton, who scored on a single by Horton.

After Islands scored its lone run in the bottom of the inning, the Bears responded with a two-run second. Tuten’s two-out, two-run single was the big blow pushed the lead out to 6-1.

PCHS put the game away in the fourth scoring seven times. Paul lined a leadoff single, stole second and moved to third on Tuten’s bunt single. After Tuten stole second, Allen was walked intentionally to load the bases.

Revels stroked a run-scoring pinch-hit single with Cox following with a pinch-hit, two-run double giving the Bears a 9-1 advantage. A two-run error on a ball hit by Golub helped extend the inning. Paul, who started the rally with a leadoff single, capped the inning with a two-run single.

Bears 8, Tattnall County 3

Allen’s suicide squeeze scored the game-winning run as PCHS scored six times in the seventh inning to rally past the Warriors.

“Tattnall had a college signee going on the mound and we were able to hit him decently for five innings with nothing to show for it,” said Gay. “However, we hung in there until we could get a break and then capitalized on their mistakes. That was a game that helped a young team grow up. It was fun to be a part of and watch.”

The Bears trailed 3-0 entering the sixth inning and scored twice to pull to within 3-2. Knowlton’s (1-for-4) one-out single got the rally started. After stealing second, he scored when Cox’s (1-for-3) fly ball to left was booted. Following the second out, Sinclair (2-for-2, double, RBI) laced a double to left plating pinch-runner Tanner Bryant.

Bennett (2-for-5, RBI) got the seventh inning started with a first-pitch single to left. After Bennett stole second, Paul (1-for-5) layed down a perfect sacrifice bunt putting runners on the corners. Williams (2-for-4, RBI) tied the score with a run-scoring single to center.

Paul and Williams, who took second on the throw home, scored when Allen’s bunt was thrown away for a two-base error for a 5-3 PCHS lead. Pinch-hitter Luke Revels was hit by a pitch with Allen and Revels’ pinch-runner Johnny Waters moving up on a groundout.

After Sinclair was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Golub lined a two-run single for a 7-3 lead. Bennett followed with his second first-pitch hit of the inning driving home the final run.

Tattnall County struck for a run in the opening inning against Allen (2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 K, 1 BB). The Warriors plated their final two runs in the fourth against Horton (0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 K, 0 BB). Williams (4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 9 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP) came in to throw four scoreless innings and pick up the win.

“Cody pitched well for us,” Gay said. “We were down 3-0 and he came in and shut the door.”

Ware County 4, Bears 0

Ware County made a two-run first inning standup with three Gator pitchers combining on a one-hit shutout.

Sinclair (7 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 K, 2 BB) went the distance for the Bears allowing single runs in the third and seventh innings following the two-run first.

Paul had Pierce’s lone hit with a leadoff single in the fourth.

The Gators scored twice in the first on three hits. Three more hits in the third plated a run to extend the lead to 3-0. Three hits and an error paved the way for the seventh inning run with all the action coming after two outs.

“Ware is an experienced and athletic group,” said Gay, “however, they (Gators) a very beatable team.”