The Briarwood Diamond Buccaneers are not where they would like to be in the GISA Region 1AA standings, but they're still in contention for a spot in the playoffs.
Now 3-4 in region play and 5-4 overall, the Bucs are in fourth place in the region standings, one game behind Gatewood School of Eatonton.
"We're playing well overall, but when we put the ball in play, we hit it right at them." Coach Bo Fleming said. "If our hitting can come around to what our pitching is, we'll be alright."
Off this week for spring holidays, the Bucs won't play again until they travel to Sandersville on Monday, April 9, for a second region game with Brentwood School. Game time is 4 p.m.
"Hopefully, we'll have a good week," Fleming said, adding that team members who are in town will practice three days during the spring holidays.
The Bucs scored a 5-2 region win over Brentwood last week in Sandersville in their final game before the spring holidays.
Brentwood scored one of the Eagles' two runs in the top of the first inning and maintained that lead until the bottom of the second when, with two outs, junior John Spivey singled to reach first base. Up next, senior David Russell blasted "the hardest hit ball of the year" deep into left field where it took one bounce and went over the fence. Russell's ground rule double pushed Spivey to third. Eighth grader Garrett Mohr reached first on an error, allowing Spivey to score from third.
Brentwood regained the lead immediately, adding a run in the top of the third to go back on top, 2-1.
The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth when the Bucs came alive. With one out, senior Joseph Batrous walked to first and then stole second. Williford also walked to first. Sophomore Cane Gilmer, who walked to load the bases, followed him. A pitch hit Spivey, and Batrous walked home. With the bases still loaded, Russell walked, scoring Williford. Sophomore Ryan Gerlach reached first base on an error, enabling Spivey and Gilmore to score the Bucs' third and fourth runs of the inning for a 5-2 lead.
Russell led the Bucs at the plate against Brentwood, going 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI to his credit. Spivey was 1-for-2 at the plate.
With only one out left in the game and up 3-2, the Bucs dropped two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to lose an important region game to Westminster Christian, 3-4, last week in Watkinsville.
"It was a tough loss for us," Coach Fleming said. "Once again, two-out hits came back to bite us."
Westminster took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but that lead didn't last long as the Bucs evened up the scored at 1-1 in the top of the second. Williford singled to reach first base. Junior Carl Chapman, running for Williford, reached second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Gilmer.
Westminster scored another run in the bottom of the third to retake the lead by one, 1-2.
The Bucs came back in the top of the fourth to score another run and tie the game at 2-2. Again, Williford led off and singled to reach first base. Chapman, running for Williford, stole second. Gilmer reached first on an error, and Chapman advanced to third. Russell's hard ground ball to the right scored Chapman.
Batrous provided the game's most exciting play when he slammed the ball over the left field fence for a homerun, giving the Bucs the lead.
With two outs in the sixth, the Bucs gave up two hits to drop the game to Westminster 3-2.
Williford led the Bucs at bat against Westminster going 2-for-3. Batrous was 1-for-3 with a homerun and one RBI.