The ECI middle school baseball team lost the second round of the region tournament last Thursday to end their season.
Going into the game with Screven Co., the team had a perfect 13-0 record and the favorite to capture the region crown.
During the regular season, the Bulldogs easily defeated the Gamecocks 15-6 and 18-6 in the two games played.
But as they say on any given day, as Screven came into the game playing their best baseball of the year defeating the Bulldogs 12-8. The Gamecocks defeated North Tattnall 7-1 last Saturday to win the region championship.
Screven jumped on the Bulldogs for 4 runs in the bottom of the first inning on the back of a grand slam and never relinquished the lead scoring 12 runs in the first three innings.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the first inning when Gabe Lee scored from third on a wild pitch with ECI down 4-1 in the first inning.
The Gamecocks added 3 more runs in the top for the second to lead ECI 7-1. The Bulldogs plated 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to keep the score within striking distance, 7-4 going into the third inning.
Screven broke the game open in the top of the third inning scoring 5 more runs to take a commanding 12-4 lead.
ECI got back into the game in the bottom of the fourth inning scoring 4 runs with the aid of a Cayden Jones homerun to make the score 12-8 with three innings still to play.
Both pitching staffs settled down and did not allow another run the final three innings with the Gamecocks eliminating the Bulldogs from the tournament.
The team will have some shoes to fill next sending 6 players up to the varsity level. It won’t take them long to see the difference between an eighth grade and twelfth grade fast ball or curve.
Playing their last game at the middle school level are Kanyon Thompson, James Parker, Oisin Matthews, Gabe Lee, Cayden Jones, and Clayton Stripling.
“I think that we had a great season. It didn’t end like we wanted but we accomplished a lot. We were able to win more in this season than the last two combined. We also saw improvements in our players and I considered that a success. Having a winning season is very important to us but helping our players to improve and to be the best that they could be is equally important. We are thankful for all the support that we have received during the year,” Coach John Hodges commented.