LIVE OAK — Scoring runs hasn’t been a problem for a balanced Suwannee High lineup so far this season.
However, the Bulldogs have had trouble putting teams away.
So after SHS opened up its second four-run lead Friday night at Lafayette High, Dylan Brantley pitching in keep the Hornets from answering was a big step for the Bulldogs, who then put the game away with an eight-run fifth for a 15-5 run-rule win.
“With the rain and all that stuff, we’ve had a whole week in between playing games, so we haven’t been able to get all our arms a lot of work,” Suwannee coach Justin Bruce said. “He’s been chomping at the bit to get out there in a game setting and he did a really good job.
“We’ve got to be able to hand it over to the next guy. That’s how our team works.”
The Bulldogs (2-2) led 7-3 after scoring three runs on three singles and an error in top of the fourth — Tyson Greene and Hunter Corbin both had RBI singles in the frame.
However, the first two Lafayette (0-2) hitters walked in the bottom of the inning and Landen Brock then welcomed Brantley with a single into right field to load the bases.
Brantley, though, then induced a run-scoring double play ball from Jaxson Beach and a groundout from Jackson Ward to snuff out the rally.
“That’s baseball,” Lafayette coach Tim Hanson said. “Some nights you get everything you hit. Some nights you can’t hit your way out of a wet paper bag.”
That momentum carried over into the fifth where Suwannee sent 11 hitters to the plate as the Bulldogs scored eight runs. The first eight Bulldogs reached base in the frame with Drew Law and Corbin each having two-run singles to extend the lead to 14-4. Hunter Cantella then tripled and scored on a passed ball with two outs.
“So far this whole year we’ve been able to jump out and score some runs,” Bruce said as every spot in the lineup reached base on the night with eight players recording a hit, led by Cantella’s three. Ryan LeNeave, who homered as part of a four-run Suwannee first, JJ Chaillou and Corbin all registering two hits.
“We’re not a power team. We’ve got to be able to get on base and use our speed, so it’s good to see some power come out in the lineup.”
After giving up four in the top of the first, Lafayette answered with three of its own in the bottom of the first, including an RBI single from Dylan Mock. Mock also singled and scored in the fifth.
“We didn’t quit and that’s the most important thing,” Hanson added. “That’s a good ballclub. I made a tough schedule this year and I feel like it’s going to help us in our district. But we’re going to take some lumps along the way.
“If we just stay the course, we’ll be OK.”