The Harlem High School baseball team returned to action Monday at Westside High School, but the Bulldogs defense appeared to still be on spring break.
The Patriots took advantage of Harlem's miscues in the field, and rolled to a 10-4 win in the Region 3-AAA contest.
"We didn't handle one or two routine plays, and we couldn't handle a bunt," Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said. "I told our team before the game that we could only limit them to 21 outs - and we gave them 25."
Harlem swung the bats well Monday, recording 10 hits, but that wasn't enough to overcome a poor fielding effort; Harlem committed four errors and allowed six unearned runs.
Westside booted four balls, too, but Harlem could not capitalize.
The Dogs did manage to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, as Michael Hawkinberry and Kelvin Sturgis notched back-to-back RBI singles.
Westside came right back in the bottom half, scored five runs and never trailed again.
"They've got a good team, and they whipped our butts," Lewis said. "But we were in the ballgame most of the time."
With the loss to the Patriots, the Bulldogs fell to 3-3 in Region 3-AAAA and now are in danger of missing the state playoffs for the first time since 1990.
Westside leads Region 3-AAA with a 5-1 record, while Washington County, Jefferson County and Cross Creek have two losses apiece. Only four teams from the region advance to state, and Harlem currently stands in fifth place.
The Dogs have an overall record of 7-10, and still have a shot at turning things around with a couple of wins this week.
Harlem plays a region game today at home against Laney, then the Dogs will play host to Cross Creek Friday. Both games start at 5 p.m.
The Evans High baseball squad fared better Monday, picking up an easy 10-0 victory at Lovejoy High School.
The Knights were led at the plate by Justin Walker (2 for 3 with a double), Chance Smith (2 for 3), Fernando Mickens (2 for 4) and Brendan Thomas (2 for 4). Walker worked a five innings on the mound to earn the win in the mercy-rule shortened game.
The Knights improved their record to 12-4 overall and 6-3 in Region 4-AAAAA.
Evans is back home today with a region game against Forest Park at 5 p.m.
In other Columbia County prep baseball action today, Lakeside faces a key Region 3-AAAA showdown at Burke County. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
Harlem vs. Laney, 5 p.m.
Evans vs. Forest Park, 5 p.m.
Lakeside at Burke County, 5:30 p.m.
Evans vs. North Clayton, 5 p.m.
Augusta Prep at Brentwood, 4:30 p.m.
Harlem vs. Cross Creek, 5 p.m.
Augusta Christian vs. Brentwood, 4:30 p.m.
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