ECI Bulldogs win three of four games


The ECI Bulldogs have played eight games since The Chronicle’s last report, and four of those games took place over the last two weeks. Of those four games, the Dawgs swept Portal on the road and split with Claxton at both venues.


The Bulldogs started the eight-game haul on Monday, March 21, in a rescheduled region match-up with McIntosh County Academy at home in Twin City. The Bulldogs got it done in a 1–0 game.


The Dawgs then took on Bryan County at home on March 22 and fell 9–4. The Redskins would get the best of ECI again in a rematch on March 25 on the road, 7–5.


Then, a week of rest proved to be beneficial as the tide started to turn for the Red and Black. ECI came up with a much-needed win at Rountree Field over Screven County on March 29, 3–1.


Unfortunately, just a day later, ECI would falter once more before getting back on the right track for good. A March 30 game against rival Savannah Christian would see the Raiders win 9–7 and send the Dawgs packing.


Coach Brooks Collins righted the team’s mentality, however, starting the first week of the month.


The Dawgs went on a three-game win streak, beating Portal in a doubleheader on the Panthers’ home turf on April 4, 12–0 and 12–2.


The Dawgs then took on Claxton last Tuesday, April 12, and picked up their third straight win, 8–4, on the road.


ECI returned home on Friday, hosting Claxton for the second game of the series, and was defeated 10–2.


Although the last two weeks have a small blemish with last Friday’s loss, the wins couldn’t come at a better time. ECI has one regular season series remaining in Metter this week before postseason play begins. The Bulldogs were set to play at home on Tuesday before visiting the Tigers on Thursday. Look for results next week.


Coach Collins provided the following highlights for the Portal doubleheader as well as the Claxton match-ups:


Charlie Rehberg was brilliant on the hill versus the Panthers, throwing a no-hitter to lead ECI Bulldogs past Portal in Game 1. He went 5 innings, allowing 0 runs on 0 hits and striking out 12.


ECI secured the victory, thanks to 10 runs in the fourth inning. ECI’s big bats were led by Gabe Lee, Lawson Mercer, Hudson Henry, Jacob Durden, Aden McQuaig, and Bryce Kearson, all driving in runs in the inning. Total, ECI racked up eight hits in the first outing versus Portal; Mercer and McQuaig both managed two hits apiece for ECI Bulldogs.


ECI was firing on all cylinders as far as offense was concerned in Game 2 against the Panthers, although Portal did get on the board first.


However, ECI pulled away for good with 3 runs in the second inning. In the second, Kearson singled on a 3–2 count, scoring 1 run. Lee singled on a 1–0 count, scoring 1 run, and an error scored another run for the Bulldogs.


ECI went on to notch 4 runs in the sixth. Lee and Henry each drove in runs during the inning.


Jacob Durden was the winning pitcher for ECI Bulldogs. The righty lasted 6 innings, allowing 4 hits and 2 runs while striking out 11 and walking 0.


The Bulldogs scattered 14 hits in the game. Kearson, Lee, Henry, and Lawson Mercer each collected multiple hits for ECI Bulldogs.


ECI was sure-handed in the field and didn’t commit a single error. Jack Walden had the most chances in the field with 10.


The Bulldogs also flashed their speed multiple times on the basepath, swiping eight stolen bases during Game 2. Lee had the most steals with 2.


In the Dawgs’ 8–4 victory over Claxton, the Tigers jumped out in the first inning and scored 1 run. ECI answered quickly, though, and pulled away for good with 5 runs in the third as an error scored 2 runs for ECI Bulldogs, a second error scored another run for ECI, and Kearson singled on a 0–1 count, scoring 2 runs of his own.


Kearson earned the win for the Bulldogs. He allowed 3 hits and 2 runs over 6 innings, striking out 6 and walking 1. Mercer threw 1.2 innings in relief out of the bullpen, recording the last 5 outs to earn the save.


Rehberg started the game for ECI Bulldogs. The southpaw allowed 2 hits and 2 runs while striking out 1.


Walden, Henry, Kearson, and Durden each managed 1 hit to lead the offense in Game 1 versus Claxton.


Game 2 was a different story, however, as ECI watched the game slip away early. The team couldn’t recover in the 10–2 loss.


Claxton first scored on a single in the first inning, then scored again on an error in the second.


The Dawgs struggled to put runs on the board and had a tough time defensively containing the Tigers, giving up 10 runs.


Claxton pounded out 4 runs in the seventh inning.


Durden took the loss for ECI. He lasted 2.1 innings, allowing 4 hits and 4 runs while striking out 5.


ECI Bulldogs collected 8 hits on the day. Mercer and Walden both had 2-hit outings, but the Dawgs left 11 runners on base, a costly mistake for any club.


In other baseball news around Region 3A, Metter won the region title for the second year in a row and will be the No. 1 seed going into the playoffs. The remaining three spots will be determined in the last week of region play, which is this week. Five teams are fighting for the three spots, including ECI.


Also, here’s the latest in middle school baseball action.


The middle school Dawgs made it to Round 2 of the playoffs, facing the Toombs County Bulldogs. Unfortunately for ECI, the team came up a little short in a 5–3 loss.


Taking the loss for the Bulldogs was pitcher Tuff Boddiford, who went 5 innings while recording 9 strikeouts.


Leading hitters in the game for the Bulldogs were: Jackson Kennedy (3-for-4), Tuff Boddiford (1-for-2), Ab Marsh (1-for-3), Johnny Baird (1-for-2), and Judson Underwood (1-for-3).


This concludes the middle school baseball season, falling one game short of the championship. Their final record for this season was 9–5. Head coach Greg Kennedy and assistant coach Heath Simmons will again field a team of players next season that will strive to make it to the playoffs and hopefully to the championship game.

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