Davis pitches gem, Blue Devils split with Houston

Mar. 30—WARNER ROBINS — Tift County and Houston County split their Friday Region 1-6A doubleheader. The Blue Devils won the opener, 1-0, with Houston earning an 8-0 win in the second contest.

The teams now have the same region record, 10-2, but the Bears sit atop 1-6A because of head-to-head competition.

Tift can still win the region flag, but will need the Bears to drop at least one game to Lee County. The Blue Devils will need to win at least one more game against Veterans than Houston loses.

Head coach Greg Williams admitted he will become a Lee fan next week, hoping to root on the Trojans to an upset. If Tift can get a little magic, it would be their first region championship flag since 2015, and only their second since 1990.

Regardless of how they do against Veterans, Tift County will host a first round home series in the state tournament as they have clinched at least a second seed.

Lee County, Veterans and Thomas County Central will all jockey for the last two spots. TCC won two of three from Lee, but the Trojans are 6-6 to their 5-7 in the standings. Veterans swept Northside and is also 5-7.

Thomas County Central will have Northside in the final week of the region schedule. The Eagles are 0-12. Lee will face Houston. Region will take a break next week before resuming April 9.

John Davis pitched a masterpiece for his sixth win of the season in Tift's 1-0 shutout.

"I've been doing this 24 years," said Williams, quantifying Davis' performance. "That was the best I've ever seen."

Even better, Williams pointed out, Houston starter Will Allen is a University of Georgia commit. Davis is committed to Georgia Southern.

Davis held Houston to two scrawny singles and allowed three baserunners total while striking out 10. One of the singles was erased on a caught stealing. They had no hits until the 4th.

The Devils struck for their lone run int he 2nd, Tyler VanSumeren doubling in Ty Dorden. Dorden ran for Cam Smith after Smith reached on an error.

Houston struck for five runs in the 1st frame of the nightcap. Tift held them to one earned run the rest of the way, but the damage was done.

The Devils mustered three hits, two by Mac Brooks.

Tift is back in action Tuesday, April 2 against West Laurens. Immediately after, they head to Panama City Beach, Florida, to play a pair of Kentucky schools, Owensboro Catholic and Frederick Douglass.

Kentucky high school baseball starts much later than that in Georgia and neither school has played as many as 10 games yet.