Seventh-ranked Pierce County extended its winning streak to 10 games with three wins including two against the highest classification.
The Bears (10-1) tripped up visiting Class 7A Tift County winning 11-5 Monday, March 8. PCHS continued its winning ways a day later slipping past visiting Class 7A Camden County 1-0 as four pitchers combined on a no-hitter.
Pierce County wrapped up the busy week Friday, March 12, in Brooklet beating Southeast Bulloch 10-3.
PCHS has a three-game schedule this week. The Bears traveled Monday to face Savannah County Day, traveled Tuesday, to Wayne County and will conclude the week hosting Southeast Bulloch Friday, March 19.
The Region 1-AAA schedule begins Tuesday, March 23, with Appling County coming to town in the first of a three-game set. PCHS will travel Thursday, March 25, to Baxley with the final game in Bearville Friday, March 26. All three games have 6 p.m. starts.
No. 7 Bears 11
Tift County 5
Pierce County erupted for seven runs in the sixth inning to break open a close game and cruise past Tift County.
JReid Phillips paced the Bears with a 2-for-3 performance with a triple, a run batted in and scored a run for the Bears, who collected seven hits — six singles — and were aided by eight walks and three Tift County errors. Knox Bennett had two RBIs and scored a run.
Davis Green, Hoke Skipper and Brandon Pittman each had a single, an RBI and two runs scored. Drew Starling and Jayden Crews each had a single, an RBI and scored a run. Dawson Yarbrough had the other RBI for the Bears.
Phillips also worked three innings of one-run, two-hit relief with five strikeouts. Pittman went the first three innings for the Bears, allowing two runs and five hits with four strikeouts. Mason Woodcock took over for Pittman in the fourth and gave up two runs on two hits.
Pittman (1-for-2) opened the decisive sixth for Pierce County with a walk and moved around on a pair of passed balls. Green (1-for-4) singled him home and advanced to second on the throw from the outfield.
Skipper (1-for-3) reached on a bunt single with Green moving to third. Starling (1-for-1) drew a walk to load the bases before Bennett was hit by a pitch to score Green.
Skipper scored on Yarbrough’s bobbled grounder. Crews (1-for-4) then brought Starling home on a fielder’s choice with Bennett and Yarbrough moving up.
Phillips followed with a single to left field scoring Bennett, but Yarbrough was thrown out at the plate and Crews moved to third.
Crews made it 10-4 when he scored on a passed ball with Phillips moving to second. Brett Tuten walked before Pittman singled home Phillips.
PCHS took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first without the benefit of a hit before Blue Devils went ahead 2-1 in the top half of the second. The Bears countered with three runs in their half of the frame and it stayed 4-2.
Pierce County loaded the bases with Phillips getting hit by a pitch, a walk to Pittman and an error on a ball hit by Green. Skipper was hit two pitches later forcing home Phillips. A walk to Starling plated Pittman. Green scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Bennett.
The Blue Devils tied it with two runs in the fifth leading to the Bears’ big sixth. The visitors managed a lone run in the seventh.
No. 7 Bears 1
Camden County 0
A two-out passed ball in the bottom of the fifth inning allowed the only run of the game lifting PCHS past the Wildcats.
Green drew a two-out, nine-pitch walk to keep the fifth inning alive. He scored on a four-pitch sequence. Green stole second on the first pitch, advanced to third on a wild second pitch, and scored on a fourth-pitch passed ball for the lone run.
Skipper worked four hitless innings fanning nine, walking two and hitting a batter. Caden Williams (three strikeouts), Woodcock (two strikeouts, walk) and Tuten (strikeout, walk) worked an inning apiece to finish off the no-hitter.
The foursome combined to strand five Wildcats on the bases with three left at second. Skipper allowed three base runners in his four innings. He fanned eight of 10 batters from the first inning thru one out in the fourth.
Williams fanned the side on 12 pitches in the fifth. Woodcock issued a leadoff walk in the sixth with Tuten walking the second batter he faced in the seventh.
Pierce County managed just two hits, one from Bennett (1-for-2; leadoff single in second) and one from Pittman (1-for-2; one-out single in fifth). The Bears left seven runners on base with four in scoring position.
No. 7 Bears 10
Southeast Bulloch 3
A pair of three-run innings over the final three frames helped PCHS pull away from a one-run advantage in beating the Yellow Jackets.
Wesley Nelson, Pittman, Phillips and Bennett combined to toss a five-hitter. The foursome fanned four, walked four and did not give up an earned run.
The Bears built a 4-0 lead scoring in three of the first four innings. After SEB scored three runs in the fourth to get to within 4-3, Pierce County plated a trio of runs in the fifth and seventh innings.
PCHS took a lead it would not relinquish with a two-out run in the first. Starling (1-for-3) lined a two-out, 2-2 pitch into center and was lifted for Woodcock (courtesy runner). Bennett (2-for-3) stroked the ensuing pitch into the rightfield corner for a run-scoring triple, the first of his two three-baggers.
The Bears extended the lead to 3-0 in the third inning. Pittman (1-for-2) beat out an infield hit to start the inning moving around to third on consecutive passed balls. Green (1-for-2) walked and stole second.
A throwing error by the SEB catcher allowed Pittman to score. Green, who moved up on the third passed ball of the inning, scored on Starling’s sacrifice fly to left.
The margin climbed to 4-0 in the fourth. Phillips (1-for-3) walked, moved to second on a Crews’ sacrifice bunt, advanced to third on an errant pickoff, and scored on Jackson Denton’s (1-for-3) infield hit.
The Yellow Jackets took advantage of a two-out error to keep the bottom of the inning alive against Pittman (3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 K, 2 BB). The error allowed the first run with a walk and two-run double following to close the deficit to 4-3.
PCHS responded with three runs in the top of the fifth scoring on two errors and a Phillips’ single. Green opened the inning with an infield hit, stole second and third scoring on an error on the second theft.
Bennett ripped a second first-pitch triple into the corner in right and scored on Phillips’ base hit. After a walk to Crews, the pair pulled off a double steal with Phillips trotting home on a throwing error upping the lead to 7-3.
A three-run seventh put the game away. Starling reached on an error and was removed for Woodcock. Bennett followed with a four-pitch walk and was lifted for Williams (pinch-runner). After both advanced on a passed ball, Phillips’ suicide squeeze plated Woodcock.
A walk to Crews was followed by consecutive passed balls advancing the runners to second and third. Tuten (1-for-4) lined a two-out, 0-2 pitch to left driving home both runners for the final margin.