Harlem baseball coach Jimmie Lewis didn't hesitate when asked what his team's record was after a win over subregion rival Thomson on Tuesday.
"We're 9-2 and 3-0 in the subregion," he said with a smile. "Not bad for Harlem."
It's more than not bad. Those numbers are better than any other team's in Columbia County. More important, they're better than any other team in Region 3N-AAA.
The Bulldogs stand atop the subregion standings after the 8-1 win over rival Thomson on Tuesday. Harlem put runners across the plate in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings in a game that proved the home Bulldogs the better team in just about every aspect.
The stats coming out of the game left no doubt which Bulldog team won.
Six of Harlem's eight runs came with two outs. Pitcher Mike Sanders gave up only one run on four hits in 5q innings of work. Wesley Morris, Rodney Scruggs and Mike Leverett, Harlem's No. 2, 3 and 4 hitters in the line up, went a combined 6-for-8 and reached base in 10 out of 12 plate appearances.
Thomson committed five errors and left nine runners on base in a failed attempt to avenge a pair of losses to Harlem last season.
"I knew we were going to have to battle to win this game," Scruggs said. "As long as we hit the ball and play as a team that's the biggest thing. It's all about being confident at the plate."
As Harlem now enters spring break, the team won't play again until April 10. Still, a key subregion victory like the one the Bulldogs pulled off Tuesday might hold enough momentum to last until then.
"We took a major step today," Lewis said. "We beat a good Thomson team that's well-coached. We needed this one."
When Harlem returns to action after spring break, the team will play six games in five days ending with a home double-header against Greenbrier on April 14.
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