When the Glynn Academy Red Terrors can put a touchdown worth of runs on the board, they win. Wednesday night they were able to do just that even after a shaky start to the game against Effingham County.
Giving the ball to lefty Jeb Carson to start the game, things didn’t favor the sophomore as an error in center allowed Effingham’s leadoff hitter — Caden Kessler — to stand on third base. Scoring on an RBI single on the next at-bat, Carson found himself in more trouble as he loaded the bases after failing to make a play to any base on a bunt attempt.
Q King stepped up to the plate and drilled a single up in the middle with the Rebels intending to score multiple runners. Charging hard from his center field spot, Wessley Roberson threw out Blake Hendrix as he made his way home. With the ball landing perfectly for Glynn’s catcher Hugh Edgy to make a play, the tag gave the Terrors the first out of the inning.
Effingham scored on the following at-bat to give itself a 3-0 lead, but that lead would quickly disappear.
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” said Glynn Academy manager John Welborn. “We took their punch in the mouth, and we had a plan and we responded.”
Going down to two outs in quick succession in the bottom of the first, Trent Tankersley started the rally for Glynn Academy with a single to short. Beating out the throw, Tankersley moved another 90 feet when Hank Noonan was hit with a pitch. Greyson Gegg worked a quick four-pitch walk to load the bases for Ryan Schueneman to do damage on the struggling Hendrix.
Hitting a 2-1 pitch up the middle of the field for a two-RBI single, the momentum continued as Hugh Edgy hit a full-count pitch to right to score two more runs and give the Terrors a 4-3 lead.
Starting the top of the second with a new face on the mound, Eli Newbern came on in relief for Carson and never faltered with the 4-3 lead. Getting three ground outs, with shortstop Gus Gandy making a diving play up the middle and gunning out the Rebel in time, the highlight play was one of many on the night by the junior. But this particular one drew praise from Welborn.
“That play, your average kid doesn’t make that,” Welborn said of the diving play up the middle. “That’s high-level play right there.”
Returning to the plate in the bottom of the third and down to two outs, Glynn produced four more runs by way of a Brandon Kasper RBI double, and RBI singles by Gandy and Tankersley to lead 9-3.
Not having faced much danger at the plate from Effingham County, the Rebels loaded the bases on Newbern before delivering a sacrifice fly in the fourth to cut the lead to 9-4.
That would be the last run of the game for the Rebels as Glynn looked for the final nail in the coffin.
It did take until the bottom of the sixth for the Terrors to put runs back on the scoreboard with Gegg earning a leadoff walk. With Joshua Meeks coming in as a pinch runner for the second time of the night, the speedster stole two consecutive bags before Schueneman brought him home on a single up the middle. The second run of the inning came by way of Effingham’s catcher trying to throw out Kasper stealing second base. Airmailing his throw, Schueneman dashed for home to score the 11th run of the game for the Terrors.
Holding an 11-4 lead and only needing three outs to win its second consecutive region series, Newbern returned to the mound and made quick work of the Rebels batters, forcing three flyouts to end the game. Sealing the night was a line out to Gandy who put together a brilliant night with his glove, something that drew smiles from Welborn.
“Gus was phenomenal tonight. He made some extraordinary plays,” Welborn said. “He showed why he’s a D1 caliber player. Their coach even said that he’s the best player in our region.”
Glynn Academy will look to complete its first season sweep, something they failed to do against Brunswick.
“Just trying to learn as we go and learn from the previous series,” Welborn said of the approach to sealing the deal. “We were in the same situation last series with Brunswick. Can we learn from that? Can we do something different and make an adjustment and learn?”
Originally scheduled for a Friday game, the weather forecast moved the final game of the series between Effingham County and Glynn Academy to last night.