TIFTON — Betting on the team in navy and calling itself Blue Devils was going to be a safe route, no matter who won Friday's baseball game. The matchup was between Tift County and Elbert County, located at opposite ends of the state, but both clad in navy and white and users of the same nickname.
When the battle of pitchforks at the plate ended, it was Tift's victory, 8-2.
Deviner McCray, fresh off his Wednesday signing with Gulf Coast State, kept the Elbert team fooled all evening, fanning 12 and only giving up two hits in six innings of work.
Like they had against Ware County, the home Devils built a big lead early.
The first inning started with consecutive singles by Zeke Dodson and Jonah Reyes. With those two occupying bags, a Blake Suggs hit one back to the mound. It was misplayed, resulting in a two-base error and enabling a run to score.
Elbert looked to have staved off disaster when Alex Abbott hit into a double play and Briggs Benson struck out, but the catcher couldn't corral the pitch. Benson reached and Reyes came in from third, giving them a 2-0 lead after a frame.
The 2nd started off similarly hot. Will Reinhardt singled and courtesy runner Boothe advanced on a single from Patrick Watson. Watson then went to third on a single by Ryan Ross that scored Boothe.
With no one still out, Dodson collected his second hit and an RBI when his single drove in Watson. Dodson was erased on a caught stealing. Elbert then allowed another run to score when Ross came in on a catcher to first strikeout of Reyes.
Elbert managed to plate a run in the third when Bradford came in on a groundout by Jordan. He had singled for his team's first hit and moved to third on a groundout and a wild pitch.