Based on recent history, the best way to beat Benedictine is to outpitch the Cadets. In late March of 2013 James Ethredge did just that by throwing a complete game 8-1 victory, at Jacky Jones Field, allowing just three hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.
In the first matchup, of two, between the two teams in 2018 senior Dalton McBride started his first Region 2 game on the mound. Freshman sensation Carter Holton got the ball for Benedictine. The lefty faced 18 Statesboro High batters in a February start at Grayson Stadium and stuck out 17 while pitching a six inning perfect game. The only Statesboro batter who did not strikeout was thrown out trying to bunt his way on base.
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Ironically, in this matchup it would be McBride who pitched the most no-hit innings (3 ⅔) to open the game. However, Holton and his Cadets pulled out the 2-1 victory in Savannah. Both pitchers threw a complete game and allowed only three hits. McBride struck out six and walked two in his six innings while Holton struck out 14 Bulldogs and walked one in his seven innings.
The game opened up like it might be an easy Cadet win. Holton struck out the side in the top of the first and then in the bottom of the inning Benedictine loaded the bases, with nobody out, without a hit. McBride induced a grounder his way and started 1-2-3 double play. A second grounder to Chase Mussleman ended the early threat.
Toombs County took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Cole Graham reached on an error by the centerfielder, Martin Stephens singled to right and Bryce Deloach drove in the run with another single to right with one out. TCHS had a shot at a bigger offensive inning. Kyle Knight walked to load the bases. However, the Cadets turned a double play to end the frame.
McBride did not allow a base hit until two down in the fourth. A bloop single set the table and the Cadets took advantage of a Bulldog error to tie the game at 1-all.
A two-out single and then a double won the game for Benedictine in the fifth inning.
Benedictine at 3-0 remains the only undefeated team in Region 2. The Bulldogs are 1-2. The two teams will square off again on Friday at 5:45 p.m. in Lyons on Y-101 Radio and Mixlr.