Thomas County Central gave a proverbial shrug to the 3-0 deficit it drew before its first at bat against Colquitt County on Tuesday.
The Jackets answered with its own three-run inning in the first, then cruised to an 8-3 win after finding a groove at the plate and from the mound.
The Jackets tied the game when Dylan Burton and Wes Hanby were hit by a pitches with the bases loaded.
The runs were positioned by Central’s first six batters reaching base.
Stone Stephenson settled for a leadoff double on what looked to be a ball headed over the left field fence. Colby Melton brought home Stephenson during the next at bat with his own double down the left field line. Doug Smith then beat out an infield grounder on an error, and Eli Taylor followed with a base hit to the outfield. Jonathan Robinson loaded the bases by beating an intended sacrifice bunt.
“You’ve got three jobs at the plate: get on, get him over, get him in,” Central coach Chad Parkerson said. “To our kid’s credit, they went up there with that approach and it was just about a perfect brand of baseball.”
“I was just fired up about our entire lineup – that up-the-middle, hit it where it’s pitched, square it up approach. Our situational hitting was perfect.”
Central – behind pitchers Dylan Burton, Carlton Ogletree and Jonathan Robinson – held Colquitt to just two hits the rest of the way, and sprinkled four strikeouts throughout the rain-shortened game.
Olgetree, who didn’t play on the Varsity squad last year, drew acclaim for his poise after the game.
“He was fantastic,” the coach said. “He got ahead of hitters. He has swing-and-miss capability.”
Central grappled the lead in the second when Melton scored on an error after stealing second and third base.
The Jackets added another in the fourth on an RBI single by Stephenson then padded the rest in the final two innings.
Central, which dropped Tuesday’s tilt to Lee County, 7-3, will look to respond in a rematch at Lee on Wednesday.
The Jackets then head to a collegiate camp with nine other teams at Auburn this weekend.