SYLVESTER -- For a first start, Eli Reddell's debut went pretty well.
The Worth County sophomore held Baconton Charter to just two hits and one run en route to the Rams' 10-1 non-region win Monday at Pope Field.
"Just go out there and throw strikes and let the defense do its job," said Reddell, who helped his own cause with a run-scoring single in the game.
Reddell, who had only pitched in relief early in the season, went five innings, struck out six and walked one with an efficient 61 pitches.
Baconton's Brock Pinson matched Reddell for the first three innings, but the Blazers' defense did in Pinson in the final innings.
Pinson cruised through three, throwing just 39 pitches, but labored in the fourth after walking three batters. Reddell's single broke a 1-1 tie in the inning and a fielding error with the bases loaded and two outs brought home two runs to put Worth (11-6) ahead 4-1.
"He cruised along and all of a sudden he hit a wall," Baconton coach Bubber Birdsong said of Pinson, who threw 29 of his 68 pitches in the fourth. "We were going to ride him as long as he was strong. A couple of plays here and there and the game turned."
The Rams, which had already beaten Baconton 8-1 earlier in the season, plated six runs in the fifth to blow the game open. Baconton (10-3) committed two of its four errors in the inning. Austin Newton had a two-run double in the fifth to put the Rams up 9-1.
"They had a big play in the game that helped us get a couple of runs and that allowed us to relax a little bit," Worth head coach Will Smith said.
Pinson went four innings in the loss, allowing four runs, only one of which was earned. He gave up two hits, struck out four and walked three. James Davis led the Blazers with two hits.
Ryan Hickox had a RBI for the Rams, while Brandon Weaver, who homered against Baconton in the first meeting, walked three times and was hit by a pitch.
Both teams, though, are looking ahead to bigger games. Worth has a huge region bout with Region 1-AAA unbeaten Cairo today on the road, while Baconton faces Albany on Thursday and Webster County Friday in non-region games before a region showdown with Seminole County next Tuesday.
"We've got some momentum going in," Smith said of today's clash with Cairo for first place in the region. "I feel pretty good about it. They are a fundamentally sound team. Every time we go down there to play them, it's a battle."
Senior Will Peacock, 5-1 on the season, will take the mound against Cairo.
Baconton, which lost to Seminole, 17-8, earlier in the year, also trails the Indians in the run scored category, which serves as the region's tiebreaker. They'll need to win next week and catch Seminole in runs scored to have a shot at first.
"(Seminole) reminds me a lot of this club right here (Worth)," said Birdsong, who plans to throw Davis against the Indians. "We were kind of hoping we could get out of here with a little closer game so we could build a little confidence."