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Bearcats to play for Sub-Region title

Coach Scott Miller’s Bainbridge High School Bearcats baseball team defeated the Thomasville High School Bulldogs 11-8 Monday in Thomasville to extend their winning streak to three games.

Big Bearcat blows in the game were a solo homer by first baseman Parker Heard in the third and a three-run homer by third baseman Tyler Hutchins in the fourth.

The Bearcats will complete their regular season when they take on the Early County High School Bobcats Monday at 5:30 p.m. in Blakely in a makeup of an April 8 rainout.

Monday’s win over the Bulldogs gave the Bearcats some momentum going into a Friday’s Region 1-AAAA home doubleheader with the Lee County High School Trojans for the Region 1-AAAA South Sub-Region championship.

It will also be senior night at the new Bearcat Field. The first game will begin at 5 p.m. Senior players and Diamond Dolls and their families will be honored between games.

Last Friday the Bearcats swept a big Region 1-AAAA Sub-Region double header over the Americus-Sumter County High School Panthers in Americus to set up Friday’s Sub-Region championship doubleheader.

The Bearcats won the opener 5-1 in Americus and took the nightcap 9-6. Those wins, coupled with Monday’s win in Thomasville, improved their season record to 11-8. They are 7-5 in region play.

The Bearcats took command of Friday’s first game in Americus early, scoring all five runs in the first two innings.

Left fielder Ryan Wade walked to open a three run first inning rally and moved up to second on a single by first baseman Blake Voyles.

After catcher Drew Kelley was hit by a pitch to load the bases, third baseman Tyler Hutchins popped out to the pitcher for the first out.

Pitcher Parker Heard singled in Wade and Voyles. Kelley moved up to second and later scored on a sacrifice fly to right by second baseman Steven Bench.

Left fielder Wade led off a two-run second inning rally with a single and promptly stole second and third. He tagged up and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by designated hitter Volyles.

Catcher Kelley drew a walk, stole second and came in with the third run on a single by third baseman Hutchins. The Panthers scored their lone first game run in the fifth on a walk, a pair of passed balls and a fielder’s choice.

The Bearcats took the early lead in the second game as well, scoring three runs in the first. A one-out triple by designated hitter Voyles and consecutive doubles by catcher Kelley and third baseman Hutchins produced the first two runs.

Hutchins moved to third on a passed ball and came in when first baseman Heard grounded into a short to first fielder’s choice.

A hit batsman, an error and a double plated a pair of Panther runs in the bottom of the first to cut the Bearcats lead to 3-2.

The Panthers added two more in the top of the third on three errors and a stolen base to go ahead 4-3.

The Bearcats came right back with two in the top of the fourth to reclaim the lead 5-4. Second baseman Sutton Reece led off the inning with a single, moved to second on a passed ball and stole third.

Shortstop Drew Day followed with a walk and moved up to second on a passed ball that allowed Reece to score the sixth run.

The Bearcats scored two in the top of the fifth and two in the top of the seventh to put the game away. First baseman Heard led off the fifth with a single and came in on a double by pinch hitter Steven Bench. Second baseman Reece singled in Bench with the inning’s final run.

The Bearcats’ seventh-inning runs were scored by Bench, who reached on a fielder’s choice, and pinch hitter Michael Dobbs, who walked.

The Panthers concluded the second game scoring with one in the bottom of the fourth and one in the bottom of the sixth.

A single, a hit batsman and two walks produced the bottom of the fourth inning run and a double, an error and a single produced the bottom of the sixth inning run.