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Redskins back home, back in the swing
Pitcher Cameron Lee fires one from the mound during Friday’s victory over Jenkins County. - photo by Time Traywick

Not having played a home baseball game since March 11 due to a cancellation, the Redskin baseball team was chomping at the bits to suit up in their red and white uniforms on March 28 for their region battle against the visiting Eagles of Jenkins County. The Redskins would not be denied on this day as they pounded out 14 hits on their way to a 9-6 come-from-behind victory.

Head coach Al Butler turned the coaching reins over to assistant coaches Daniel Kauffman and Caleb White so he could deal with family matters from their house fire. When learning of the results, he said he was very proud of his team.

"This is a great win after all we have been through this week," Butler said. "For these boys to give up four runs in the first inning, then come back and score nine runs and be fired up every minute was really special. I’m thankful to have Daniel and Caleb and I appreciate how they stepped up and took control and kept things rolling for us. They did a super job and it showed in this win today."

Southpaw Cameron Lee took the mound for the Redskins but found himself struggling early as the Eagles’ leadoff batter doubled to start the game and ignited an early scoring stint. After a passed ball, a walk, a stolen base and an intentional walk, Jenkins County had the bases loaded and seemed ready to put this game away early.

Thanks to some bobbled ground balls, throwing errors and more control problems from Lee, the Redskins found themselves in a scoring hole right off the bat. With Jenkins County up 4-0 with two outs, Lee was relieved of his pitching duties as Justin Pruitt took over the mound to try and stop the soaring Eagles. Pruitt threw one pitch for a third out grounder to shortstop to send the Redskins to the plate for their first at bat.

Leadoff hitter Kurt Shuman reached base safely on an infield error. Freshman Garrett Riggleman followed with a single to right for the Redskins first hit. Shuman later scored a run as Jenkins County pitcher followed in Lee’s shoes with control problems and Bryan County was down 4-1 heading into the second inning.

The Redskin pitching change proved to be a good one as Pruitt quickly shut down the Eagles with a three-up, three-down inning. Tyler Moody hit a one out single for Bryan County and advanced to second base on a passed ball. Shuman drew a walk and another passed ball put Moody and Shuman on second and third. Riggleman delivered his second hit of the game, a double that scored both Moody and Shuman to make it a 4-3 score. After a pitching change by Jenkins County, Justin Covington singled and drove in Riggleman to tie the game at 4-4. Cleanup hitter Lee also banged a single to put runners on first and second, but they were left stranded on base as the inning ended.

The third inning went quick as Jenkins produced only one hit but Pruitt picked that runner off. The Redskin bats then went down 1, 2, 3 to end the third inning. But Jenkins County too went down 1, 2, 3 in the fourth to put the bats right back in the Redskins hands.

In the fourth, Shuman singled and stole a base; Justin Covington delivered a single that moved Shuman to third. Lee followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Shuman and put Bryan County up 5-4 going into the fifth inning. After a single by Jenkins County, Pruitt got the next three Eagles to fly out and the Redskins headed back to the dugout. Leading the offensive surge in the bottom of the fifth was Cody Crowe, who slammed a double to left field. Pruitt then laid down a bunt for a hit that moved Crowe to third, but he was thrown out stealing. Bryce Mingledorff drew a walk before Moody laid down a bunt on a hit and run play for a hit that scored Crowe to make the score 6-4. Jenkins made another pitching change and finally got out of the inning. After a leadoff single by Jenkins, Bryan County brought in fireballer Justin Covington to try and get the save for Pruitt. Covington quickly got the next three Eagle hitters out as the bottom of the sixth approached. Finally finding that never say die attitude, the Redskin offense continued to pounce on the Eagles as Covington led off with his third single of the game. Chad Klopp then laid down a picture perfect, one out bunt. With runners on second and third, Crowe ripped his second double of the day that scored Lee who had reached on a fielder’s choice. Pruitt sacrificed on a bunt to score Klopp. Ben Covington got in on the action with a RBI single that scored Crowe to put Bryan County ahead 9-4 before the side was retired.

The top of the seventh innings saw Jenkins County muster up a comeback effort of their own as they ripped several hard hit balls off of Justin Covington to load up the bases and score two more runs. The Eagles comeback fizzled out as Covington closed the game with a strikeout and flyout to end the game. Pruitt got the win and Covington a save for a hard earned 9-6 win.

Next up, the Redskins played Claxton last night and are slated to play Savannnah Country Day Friday in Savannah. Both are region contests, and look for results in upcoming issues.

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