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Willis hurls no hitter, strikes out 11

Senior right-hander Peyton Willis hurled a no hitter Friday night, striking out 11 and walking just two, as coach Scott Miller’s Bainbridge High School Bearcats defeated the Westside Macon High School Seminoles 6-1 in a Region 1AAAA game at the new BHS field.

The win improved the Bearcats record to 6-3 overall and 2-1 in Region 1AAAA play.

They host the Americus-Sumter County High School Panthers in a Region 1AAAA game Tuesday night and they will play the Hardaway High School Golden Hawks in a Region 1AAAA game Friday at 6 p.m. in Columbus.

The Seminoles took the early lead, scoring an unearned run in the top of the first inning to jump out front 1-0.

Shortstop Trey Robinson walked on a 3-2 pitch to open the Seminoles’ first. He moved to second when catcher Brian Dalton laid down a sacrifice bunt, went to third when third baseman Cameron Jones grounded out and came in on a wild pitch.

The Bearcats rallied for two runs in the bottom of the fourth to go up 2-1. Shortstop Drew Day walked on a 3-1 pitch to open the inning. He stole second and moved up to third when right fielder Drew Kelley lined a single to right.

With right fielder Tyler Hutchins at the plate, Stephen Lightfoot, who came in as a courtesy runner for Kelley, was thrown out attempting to steal second. Hutchins then hit a sacrifice to center as Day tagged up and came in to score the tying run.

First baseman Parker Heard continued the rally with a double to left. Designated hitter Blake Voyles then stepped to the plate and lined a long double over the right fielder’s head, driving in Heard with the go-ahead run.

Left fielder Brock Merchant’s pop up between first and third was dropped for an error allowing him to reach first and Voyles to go to third. Pitcher hitter Steven Bench then popped out to first to retire the side.

The Bearcats added two more runs in the top of the fifth to build their lead to 4-1. Center fielder Dee Friday drew a one-out walk on four pitches to start the rally. He stole second and third and came in to score when Day grounded out from short to first.

Kelley continued the rally with a line single to right, and Lightfoot came on as a courtesy runner. Third Hutchins followed with a double to left driving in Lightfoot with the fourth run.

Hutchins moved up to third on a passed ball before Heard flied out to left center to retire the side.

The Bearcats tacked on their final two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Voyles walked on a 3-2 pitch to open the inning and moved up to second when pinch hitter Ryan Wade singled to left center.

Bench laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Voyles and Wade up to second and third, and Diante Smith walked to load the bases.

Voyles and Wade came in to score when pinch hitter Bryan Digby’s hard grounder to short was thrown away attempting to get a force at second.