Last week’s performances by the ECI Bulldogs were as good as head coach Brooks Collins could ask for from his team. The varsity baseball boys went 3–0, beating Jenkins County twice with a Swainsboro win sandwiched in the middle.
The week began with a 6–4 rout of the Eagles in Millen on Tuesday, March 8. The Bulldogs stole the lead late in the game for the win.
ECI got on the board in the first inning when Jack Walden singled on a 2–1 count, scoring 1 run.
The game was tied at 4 with ECI batting in the top of the seventh when Lawson Mercer doubled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring 1 run.
Jacob Durden pitched the Dawgs to victory. Durden surrendered 0 runs on 2 hits over 3.2 innings, striking out 8 Eagles.
Mercer started the game for ECI Bulldogs, however. The righty went 3.1 innings, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits and striking out 2.
Mercer, Walden, Bryce Kearson, and Hudson Henry each managed 1 hit to lead ECI at the plate in the first match-up against Jenkins. A timely hit by Gabe Lee gave the Bulldogs the spark they needed to take the lead in the top of the seventh.
Two days later on Thursday, March 10, ECI hosted Swainsboro and beat them for the second time this year. Last week’s win against the Tigers was by a score of 5–0.
Charlie Rehberg threw a shutout to lead ECI past Swainsboro in the rematch.
ECI notched 4 runs in the sixth inning. The big inning was thanks to a walk by Henry, a single by Aden McQuaig, and a groundout by James.
Rehberg got the win for the Bulldogs, lasting 7 innings, allowing 2 hits and 0 runs while striking out 11.
Kaleb Edenfield took the loss for Swainsboro. He went 6 innings, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits and striking out 9.
In addition to his stellar performance on the mound, Rehberg went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead ECI in hits.
Timely hits by Lee and McQuaig broke the game open for ECI.
With the win against Swainsboro, ECI had great momentum for their second game of the week versus Jenkins County. Sure enough, the Bulldogs wrapped up three consecutive victories, beating the Eagles 4–1 in front of a home crowd in Twin City.
The Bulldogs fired up the offense in the first inning when Walden singled on a 2–1 count, scoring 1 run.
Joseph Stewart picked up the win on the mound for ECI. The pitcher allowed just 2 hits and 1 run over 6 innings while fanning two Eagles.
Mercer threw 1 inning in relief out of the bullpen. He recorded the last 3 outs to earn the save.
Walden led ECI with 2 hits in three at-bats.
“Picking up three wins during ‘rivalry week’ was huge,” Coach Collins said after the fact. “A lot of young guys stepped up in some big situations that proved to be the difference in picking up the wins against Jenkins County and Swainsboro. Two wins over a scrappy Jenkins county team to start region gets us prepared for McIntosh County this week.”
The Bulldogs traveled to McIntosh County Academy on Tuesday. Look for results from that game next week.
On Thursday, the Bulldogs take on Tattnall County in Twin City, and Friday will bring about a rematch with McIntosh at home as well.
Tuesday, March 22, will bring the Bryan County Redskins to town.
Results from those three contests will be provided in The Crossroads Chronicle next week as well.