Bluffton High baseball used a six-run fourth inning to open up a big lead, then held off a late Colleton County rally for an 8-7 road win in the opener of a two-game Region 7-4A series Monday.
The Cougars grabbed an early 3-1, and they were almost out of the jam that turned into the game-changing Bluffton rally in the fourth. After a huge strikeout to record the second out with the bases loaded, the top of the Bobcats’ order came through for a massive two-out rally.
Cody Bradt came through with an RBI single before an error, a walk, and a hit by pitch forced home runs to give the Bobcats a 5-3 advantage, and another Cougar miscue allowed two more to come home and pad the margin.
Those insurance runs proved vital, as the Cougars responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth and had the bases loaded with the tying and winning runs in scoring position in the seventh before Jayden Timmins struck out the final batter to preserve the win.
Eric Eastham earned the win with 5 1-3 innings of relief work, allowing four runs with five strikeouts and three walks, and Timmins nailed down the save.
Eastham and Grant Musselman each had two hits, Nico Martucci had a hit and two RBIs, and Musselman, Bradt, and Timmins each drove in a run.
Ben Kennedy was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs, and Michael Ortiz, Jackson Bell, Cam Farnsworth, and JC Poe each added two hits for the Cougars, who outhit the Bobcats 13-7. Farnsworth, Bell, and Palmer Thomas each drove in a run for Colleton.
Reliever Cohen Crosby kept Colleton County in it with 3 1-3 strong innings out of the bullpen, limiting the Bobcats to one unearned run and two hits with two strikeouts.
The Bobcats (3-4, 1-4) host the Cougars (3-8, 0-3) for the series finale Wednesday.