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Rams topple Blazers in Baconton, 8-1

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

BACONTON -- Brandon Weaver isn't sure exactly where the power surge originated.

But it's real and the baseball is grapefruit-sized at the moment for the Worth County junior catcher.

Weaver hit his fourth dinger of the early season in the Class AAA Rams' 8-1 win Monday against Class A Baconton Charter.

"Brandon is seeing the ball really well," Worth head coach Will Smith said. "He's been lights out. (But) I don't want everybody to know that."

The Rams (4-4) led 1-0 early and then blew the game open in the third inning when Weaver's three-run blast cleared the center field wall to put Worth up 4-0. Eli Reddell's single drove in Marlin Hall to cap the scoring in the inning for a 6-0 lead.

Weaver, who hit one homer as a sophomore last season, went deep in a preseason scrimmage, but never envisioned so many round trips this fast in the year.

"Not really," he said. "It's just (the result of) hard work, a lot of weight room."

Weaver hit third in the lineup but was moved to fifth on Worth's region title team last season. He's back in the catbird seat this year and likes the results thus far.

"I've gotten older and bigger, so I think I can handle it better," said Weaver, who went 2-for-3 with three RBI in Monday's win.

The Rams lost a ton from last season's playoff team and returned just one senior. That senior, Will Peacock, got the win Monday by pitching four shutout innings. He gave up two hits and struck out four. Baconton (5-2) drew two walks to open the fourth, but Peacock got out of it by inducing a double-play groundout and getting a strikeout.

"We try to use (tough non-region games) to get better for our region," said Blazers head coach Bubber Birdsong, whose team hadn't played in six days because of a rainout. "They're similar to the Seminoles and the Millers. It was good for us."

Baconton got on the board in the seventh with a Kyle Parks RBI single scoring Zack Jones.

Hall, the Rams centerfielder, finished the game 2-for-3 with four runs scored. Reddell was 2-for-2 with two RBI. Ryan Hickox pitched the final three innings and struck out five.

"We wanted to get back into a rhythm," said Weaver, whose team struck out 14 times in its last game -- a loss to Berrien County. "We're just trying to mature as a team."

James Davis started the game for Baconton, which is already 2-0 in Region 1-A play, and got the loss despite allowing only one run in two innings of work. Brock Pinson allowed five runs (four earned) in the Rams' big third inning.

The Blazers are back in region play Friday with a big game at Seminole County.

"I think Seminole, Miller, Pelham and us... you can shake us up," Birdsong said. "Somebody is going to beat somebody and the other is going to beat the other."

Worth goes to Fitzgerald on Thursday, then hosts Hilliard High out of Florida on Friday. The Rams open Region 1-AAA play next Tuesday at home against Dougherty.