Apr. 6—A six-run third inning was just a smidgen of what Brunswick High's baseball team's offense had in the tank Monday night during Game 1 of a doubleheader against Bradwell Institute.
Brunswick scored 13 runs on 12 hits to earn a 13-3 victory for the Pirates as it seemed like everyone found a way to score. In Game 2, the Pirates success continued as they clinched the region series with an 11-1 victory.
Chamberlain Dent's in the park homer sparked the six-run inning, but Brunswick's bats were explosive from the jump. The Pirates scored three in the first inning and another three in the fourth and added the final nail in the coffin during the fifth to end the game early. Everything went Brunswick's way despite a few mistakes toward the end of the ball game.
After struggling last week against a talented South Effingham team, Brunswick coach Greg Roberts said he felt like it was a good effort.
"I thought we swung the bat at times pretty well. We made a few mistakes here and there, but Riley did a decent job," Roberts said. "He didn't have his best stuff today. He gave up one of the first, and we gave them the last two on passed balls.
"We walk the leadoff guy, we get a weak ground ball hit in front of us there, and we don't communicate between the pitcher and catcher — just let them get to there quickly. We didn't play badly; we're still trying to get going and trying to get healthy. We hit some baseballs hard and did some things we wanted on the bases, so it was good to see."
Among Brunswick's at-bats, 17 were quality at-bats as Dent had two, DeVontae Gadson had two, Caden Hutchinson had two, and Kyle Lodise tallied three. In total,12 guys produced quality at-bats, and it showed on the scoreboard.
Lodise and Dalton Tindall led the team as they both went 2-for-4 from the plate. Gadson went 1-for-3, with 3 RBI and led the team with three runs scored. Hutchinson and Dent each batted 1-for-2. Dent tallied two RBI, and Hutchison had one.
Matthew Neal had an impressive day from the plate as he went 2-for-3, with 2 RBI and scored once. Starting pitcher Riley Morgan also tallied 2 RBI as he went 1-for-2 batting.
Morgan pitched all five innings on the mound, giving up three runs on two hits while striking out four and walking three.
While the team had an ample amount of people scoring runs, it was that in the park homer that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Dent made great contact with the ball, and off he went. As he rounded second, it seemed as if he would hold up at third, but the Tigers made a mistake, and his wheels kept going. It was close, but it seemed nothing was going to stop him from reaching home plate.
"He's not the swiftest of foot, and he doesn't claim to be either," Roberts said. "But he squared the ball up, and I noticed as they went to throw their tandem relay to third — they overthrew the tandem, so that was when I decided to go ahead and send him, so it worked out for us."
The junior has been a force for the Pirates on the mound but has played all over. As the season progresses, his growth continues.
"He started the year at third with us. He's played left field. He's played right field, and he's our Friday night guy on the mound," Roberts said. "So early on, we were trying to get him swinging the bat a little bit better, and he's put some good at-bats together now. He's getting comfortable in the outfield."
Roberts said he noticed a difference last Friday night against South Effingham after giving up four hits in the first inning, then battling back and not letting it bother him.
"The Chamberlain Dent early on in our tenure here, I don't think that would have been him. I think it would have it would have affected him a lot worse than it did," Roberts said. "He settled in, found his groove and found some pitches that were working for him — where he was throwing balls more down the middle of plate early in the first inning there.
"He started locating and gave us a chance to win that game. So that says a lot about him not losing his composure, staying engaged in the game and trying to find a way to compete on the mound when you don't have your best stuff early. I can't say enough about the job he did on settling in and just trying to get us back in the game to give us a chance."
Another guy who gives the Pirates a spark is Gadson. Roberts said when he's on, it shows and gets everyone else going.
"He's had a couple of series against some region opponents where he's struggled. It's nice to see him on base," Roberts said. "It may have been six or seven nights in a row where he's not had a hit. He's found ways to get on base a little bit, but he's not been going well. He's kind of been in a slump. So to see him kind of get going tonight, hopefully, he can stay there for the rest of the season because he really gives us a spark when he's out there."
Morgan and Neal were the two to get Brunswick going in the first inning as they scored off singles by both.
Dent started the spark in the third, then Skiles Tawney, Hutchinson and Morgan all were able to move runners across the plate to rack up the points.
Brunswick was able to capitalize on Bradwell's five errors in Game 1, including Hutchinson, who could reach in the fourth to start another offensive burst. On that play, it allowed Elijah Wellman to score and load the bases. Morgan walked, scoring another run and then Dent's sacrifice fly to center field allowed Gadson to score.
The Pirates scored once more to end the game as the bases were loaded, and a walk sent home the winning score.
Brunswick took on Bradwell in Game 2 following the first game since the Pirates are on spring break. Game 3 will be Wednesday at Bradwell. Look for a Game 2 recap in a future edition of The Brunswick News later this week.