Emanuel County Institute suffered its first losses of the year last week, falling to 3–2 on the year. Burke County and Toombs County alike found ways to upend the Bulldogs despite a home field advantage.
On Wednesday, ECI took on the Burke County Bears and lost a lead late in the game to fall 11–3.
Although the final score may give the impression this was never a close contest, that would not be true. The game was tied at 3 with Burke County batting in the top of the eighth when Phillip Hodges singled on a 1-1 count, scoring the go-ahead run.
ECI struggled to put runs on the board and overall had a tough time defensively containing the Bears, giving up 11 runs.
ECI opened scoring, however, in the first inning on a Jack Walden double.
Burke evened up the score at 3 all in the top of the seventh as Jahkari Howard drew a walk, scoring 1 run.
Howard pitched Burke to the win, surrendering 0 runs on 0 hits over 2.3 innings, striking out 6 Bulldogs and walking 1.
Joseph Stewart led ECI on the hill. The righty lasted 5.1 innings, allowing 3 hits and 0 runs while striking out 3. Gabe Lee, Charlie Rehberg, and Kanyon Thompson each contributed in relief for ECI Bulldogs.
Marshall Flowers was Burke’s starter; he lasted 5.2 innings, allowing 6 hits and all 3 of the Bulldogs’ runs while striking out 9.
Total, ECI had 6 hits throughout the game. Bryce Kearson and Rehberg both collected multiple hits on the day. Kearson was the offensive catalyst with 3 hits in 3 at-bats.
Burke tallied 10 hits during the game and didn’t commit a single error in the field in route to the 11–3 win.
Try as they might, the Bulldogs would be unable to swing the momentum back in their favor on Saturday.
ECI hosted Toombs for a Bulldog-versus-Bulldog match-up. Both teams put up a bunch of runs, but ECI would be edged out 10–7 for their second loss of the season.
A majority of the action came late in the game.
The ECI Dawgs notched a whopping 5 runs in the seventh inning. The biggest inning for the home team saw a walk by Jack Walden and a home run by Caleb Avery.
Toombs scored 5 runs in the sixth inning, led by Dawson Brantley, Jason Dukes, Will Watts, Bryson Stanley, and Kobie Cortez, all of whom drove in runs.
Lucas O’Conner pitched Toombs to the victory. He went 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 4. Trayvone Harris threw 1 inning in relief out of the bullpen; he recorded the last 3 outs to earn the save for Toombs.
Lawson Mercer took the loss for ECI Bulldogs. The righty lasted 5 innings, allowing 7 hits and 6 runs while striking out 4.
On a positive note, ECI showed its power potential and resilience as the home-team Bulldogs smacked 2 homers on the day. Walden went yard in the third inning. Avery, who was the overall offensive leader for ECI in this game, had a long ball in the seventh. He had 2 hits in 4 at-bats.
Kearson led the Bulldogs on the base path with 2 stolen bases. Total, ECI recorded 5 stolen bases against Toombs.
In route to the 10–3 win, Toombs County racked up 10 hits. Brantley and Jesus Quintero both had multiple hits with Brantley going 3-for-5 at the plate to lead Toombs in hits.
On tap this week are two non-region games against Southeast Bulloch in Brooklet on Wednesday and Tattnall County in Reidsville on Friday. The Bulldogs will open region play on Tuesday against Jenkins County in Millen.
Look for results in a future edition of The Crossroads.