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April 21, 2014

Blue Devils slide past ‘Cats on Senior Day

TIFTON — Nine seniors started the day Monday for the Tift County Blue Devils against the Bainbridge Bearcats. Throughout the game, several different combinations were used. By the end of it, the combination of Alex Abbott and Will Reinhardt was the one that mattered most.

Abbott's double and Reinhardt's bunt single turned into an error and a run scored as they defeated the 'Cats, 2-1.

The teams were tied going to the bottom of the 7th. Abbott was the first man up and he drilled a double down the right field line off reliever Stanton Long.

Reinhardt stepped to the plate. With Abbott running, he dropped a bunt between pitcher and third. He had broken out of the box well and was nearly to the bag by the time it was fielded. The pitcher rushed a throw to try to beat him and it went wild.

Abbott, who had stopped at third, hesitated for a moment, then raced for home, sliding in well ahead of the throw.

Bainbridge had drawn first blood in the game, which was a pitcher's duel throughout and scoreless until the 6th.

Seth Hall led off against David Craft with a walk. With Tyler Braswell running for him, a wild pitch put him in scoring position, followed by a sacrifice by Blake Merchant to get him to third. The run scored on a sac fly to right by Anderson Bailey.

The Devils tied it up in the bottom half on a rally started with a little luck. Jordan Davis got the first two men out before Zeke Dodson put a swing on a ball. It looked like it was going to be caught, but it carried just far enough to hit against the wall. He ended up at second and Kirk opted for a fresh approach.

Deviner McCray had been the scheduled hitter, but he was replaced by Briggs Benson. Benson promptly singled and the game was tied.

Benson stayed on to the pitch the 7th. A man reached on an error, but was erased on a double play.

Tift had a mere five hits in the game, but held the Bearcats to just two. Abbott, Reinhardt, Joseph Watson and Benson all had singles with the sole extra base hit belonging to Dodson.

Kirk's combos included the following batteries: Ethan Dorden pitching to Craft, Reinhardt pitching to Craft, Craft pitching to Reinhardt and Benson pitching to Reinhardt.

Dorden went two innings as the starter and struck out one. Reinhardt went three before reversing positions with Craft.

The Blue Devils have one final regular season game left. They face Crisp County at Cordele Saturday. The two teams met last Saturday at Turner Field and tied, 4-4.

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