This week is about pitching for Region 2-6A baseball champion Glynn Academy.
After throwing two different pitchers Monday in Statesboro, head coach Greg Roberts threw out three more pitchers for varying stretches Wednesday at Edo Miller Park.
Bo Pierce got the start, spanning five innings and allowing one earned run on four hits and one walk. Left-hander Chip Hulsey tossed a perfect six and freshman Paul Hegeman threw the first pitches of his high school career in a scoreless seventh to earn the save in the Red Terrors’ 4-1 win over the Blue Devils.
Roberts plans to mix in more pitchers Friday, while giving senior Alex Colon the week of and limiting Will Bowdoin to a strict pitch count.
“We’re going to throw some more guys and continue to let guys compete,” Roberts said.
With the No. 1 and No. 2 starter spots essentially locked down by Bowdoin and Colon, Glynn Academy is looking for a consistent performance to reveal a potential third starter for the upcoming Class 6A state playoffs.
Pierce took some confident strides toward solidifying his role on the Red Terrors’ pitching staff. Pierce started the season as the team’s backup catcher and relief pitcher. Now the starting catcher, Pierce was pressed into service as a starter Wednesday night.
While Pierce’s start was clean, his teammate Hill Hartman has the edge in experience with regards to the amount of starts he’s made for Glynn Academy this season.
“I’m inevitably working to go the distance and just looking to throw strikes,” Pierce said. “It’s probably between me and (Hartman) at this point (for No. 3 starter). Maybe Hill more than me since I’m behind the plate more.
Pierce said he was able to locate pitches well against Statesboro, particularly his split-change that kept the Blue Devils’ lineup off balance. Not a strikeout pitcher, per se, Pierce said he was focused on eating innings, frustrating batters and letting his defense work.
Defense, coincidentally, was crucial Wednesday night. Third baseman Hunter Hall snared a handful of line drives Wednesday night, including a double play in the second inning. Glynn Academy coughed up its one run in the top of the fourth inning, but it might have been more if not for Hall’s web gem to end the inning. The junior laid out to his right to snag a line drive and snuff out a would-be double, stranding two men on base.
Left fielder Preston Joseph also made a running grab in the sixth, corralling what would have been an easy double.
“We’ve got a lot of guys doing a lot of good things, up and down the lineup,” Roberts said. “They’re starting to buy into this role of, ‘When my time comes, I’m going to get it done.’”
Offensively, the Red Terrors’ bats went quiet after Randon Jernigan ripped and RBI single in the second inning.
Glynn began its final rally when Matt Rivers reached on a leadoff walk in the sixth inning, and Statesboro booted a sac bunt from Hall to place two on with none out. Senior catcher Carter Hutchinson moved both Terrors into scoring position with an executed sacrifice. Pierce dropped a Texas-league single into left to score Hall from third, followed by a two-out, two-RBI double from Bowdoin.
Before the team’s final home game, Glynn Academy recognized seniors Rivers, Xavier McClinton, Jace Wilder, Tanner McLaine, Colon, Preston Joseph, Hutchinson and Mickey Brinson. Athletic director Steve Waters also presented the Region 2 championship trophy. The Red Terrors will close out the regular season Friday night in Statesboro.