The Bryan County High School baseball team heard an unfamiliar sound Thursday, April 24 in their make-up game against the Wheeler County Bulldogs.
The unfamiliar sound was the ‘snapping’ of a 10-game losing streak as they came from behind to defeat the Bulldogs 11-7. Tyler Moody picked up the win for the hungry Redskins after coming in to relieve starter, Garrett Riggleman in the first inning with Wheeler County ahead 2-0.
After a base hit and a Redskin error, Moody found himself in a 4-0 hole before Bryan County came to bat in the bottom of the first. Leadoff hitter, Kurt Shuman led off and reached first after being hit by a pitch and later scored the Redskins first run.
Wheeler County picked up two more runs to make the score 6-1 before Bryan County mounted a hitting attack in the bottom of the third inning that produced eight runs.
Justin Covinton got the scoring explosion started with the first of his two doubles of the night. Cameron Lee followed with a single that scored Covington. Cody Crowe followed with a single and a stolen base put him on second as Alex Sapp came in to pinch run for Crowe.
Bryce Mingledorff walked to load the bases for Justin Pruitt who then singled and drove in Lee and Sapp. Chad Klopp got in on the action with a single of his own that scored Mingledorff before Wheeler County went to their bullpen to try and ward off the Redskin hitting barrage.
Moody helped his own cause with a two run single that scored Pruitt and Klopp and put Bryan County ahead for the first time at 7-6. Shuman and Riggleman added the first two outs before Justin Covington got his second at bat of the inning and lined a single to keep the inning alive. Moody scored run number eight on a passed ball before Lee drove the ball deep in the right center gap for a stand up double that scored Covington. Crowe ended the inning with a fly out, but the Redskins had done some damage and was ahead 9-6. Moody quickly shut down the Bulldogs in the fourth inning with two strikeouts and a ground out.
Pruitt singled in the fourth, but that was all the noise made as the score remained at 9-6. Getting some varsity experience on the mound was Alex Sapp who came in to pitch the start of the fifth inning and he did not disappoint.
Sapp struck out the first Bulldog batter of the inning and got the second batter to ground out before a lone single by the next hitter. A fly out by the next batter for out three left Sapp unscathed as Bryan County came to bat in the bottom of the fifth. After a strikeout by Shuman, young Sapp came through with his first varsity base hit on a single and then stole second base. Justin Covington then ripped his second double of the game to score Sapp and put the Redskins up 10-6, heading into the top of the sixth inning.
Sapp struck out the first batter of this inning before giving up two base on balls that eventually gave Wheeler County their seventh run. Sapp got out of the inning with another strikeout and a ground out to put Bryan County back at the plate.
Klopp and Moody produced another run when Klopp scored on a fielders choice by Moody and a wild throw allowed Klopp to score to run the score to 11-7. Sapp only allowed one single amongst the four seventh inning batters he faced as he set the next three batters down with a strikeout and two fly outs to pick up the save for Moody and preserve the Bryan County 11-7 victory
The Redskin offense banged out 12 hits on the evening, led by Justin Covington (3 hits, 1 RBI, 2 Runs), and Cameron Lee (3 hits, 2 RBI’s, 1 Run). Chad Klopp followed closely with (2 hits, 1 RBI, 1 Run). Crowe, Sapp, Pruitt, and Moody contributed with one hit each. Moody had 2 K’s, 2 BB, allowed 5 hits and gave up 4 runs while Sapp had 4 K’s, 2 BB, allowed 2 hits and gave up 1 run. Riggleman had 4 BB, against 2 runs.
Winning coach Al Butler was proud and smiling with these post game comments. "We spotted them four runs right off the bat but Tyler and Alex came in and took control of the pitching duties and our bats came alive as we never gave up. I saw intensity in the guys eyes and our hitting seemed to carry over from the weekend games we just played. We made some errors, but we overcame them as a team and finally got the losing Monkey off of our backs."
Bryan County traveled to Jenkins County Friday night for a region game and will travel to Claxton on Tuesday, April 29, before hosting their last regular season game on May 1, at home against Savannah Country Day.
On Wednesday, April 23, Bryan County traveled to nearby Southeast Bulloch to tangle with the Yellow Jackets, but the hard hitting bats of Southeast Bulloch stung the Redskins and sent them back to Pembroke with a 17-7 loss. Kurt Shuman produced the most Redskin offensive noise with a 2-3 plate performance, with one of his hits a solo home run.