MILLEDGEVILLE — Going head-to-head, Georgia Military Prep School and Baldwin High faced off for the first time in years on the baseball diamond Monday at GMC Prep’s Craig Field.
The game resulted in a 9-3 win for BHS, which served as a much-needed victory for the Braves.
“More or less, I was just glad to see our kids play well. I was real proud of the way we played defense and made no errors,” Donnie Coburn, BHS head coach, said. “I was proud of our kids. It was a big win for us.”
Jumping out to a 2-0 lead for BHS after the first inning, Coburn admits the goal for the Braves was to come out of the gate hard against the strong pitching of the Bulldogs.
“We realize GMC has good pitching; [Hunter] Mims can pitch. I told my boys, ‘either we’re going to get to him first, or he’s going to get to us,’” he said. “The turning point was getting to him, and we hit the ball hard and hit the ball well. That might have been one of our better days.”
Corey Dunn and Eli Rouse led BHS offensively going 3-for-4 at the plate, with Rouse earning four RBI and Dunn with three RBI. Tylan Eunice went 2-for-4 with a double, while Ladarius Thomas went 2-for-5 and scored a run.
For the Bulldogs, lone senior Hunter Mims represented the team well on Senior Day pitching four innings and earning four strikeouts against BHS.
“He did exactly what we needed him to do, and they just put the ball in play and we just didn’t make the plays behind him to give him some help,” Allen Simmons, GMC Prep head coach, said. “Hunter’s a senior on a team loaded with freshmen and young players, so I can’t say enough about how he’s been as a leader.”
Dalton Threatt also pitched for GMC Prep for one and a third innings before Jered Knowles came in and finished out the contest for the Bulldogs.
“Defensively, we made way too many mental mistakes; far too many mental mistakes that we haven’t made recently,” Simmons said. “The mental aspect is what hurt us the most [Monday] night.”
According to Coburn, BHS displayed one of its best days defensively as well, with Tada Harvey, senior, pitching the complete game, earning four strikeouts and only giving up three runs to the Bulldogs.
“We lost four guys off our pitching staff last year, and Tada’s one of those guys that had to step up,” Coburn said. “Our defense backed him up. He’s been very competitive and never denies wanting the ball.”
Monday’s game was the final one of the season for GMC Prep, as the Bulldogs finished off the season 6-13 with a very young squad.
“We were successful on the field because we got better each week. We’re a much better team than we were in the first game of the season,” Simmons said. “They didn’t back down and they stepped up to the challenge. I’m happy with the season.”
The GMC Prep-BHS matchup is surely to be one that will continue as long as Simmons and Coburn have anything to do with it. Both believe it’s great for the kids and the community.
“I was glad Donnie and I were able to work it out to play Baldwin again,” Simmons said. “It’s been a while since we’ve played them in baseball. It’s a good rivalry, and it’s good for the kids.”