Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School baseball Coach Ashley Summerlin is taking his team to his former stomping grounds this weekend.
The Tiger Sharks (3-3) will travel to play a pair of Georgia schools, Callaway and Northgate High Schools, Summerlin used to coach.
For some of the players and coaches this will be the first time out of the county since Hurricane Michael.
The trip, up Friday and back to Port St. Joe Saturday, comes after an uneven week.
The Tiger Sharks combined a pair of wins with a loss which took on a little less importance after the fact.
The loss came to Liberty County, 3-1, last Friday night.
Two days later the Liberty County coach and his wife were killed and their son injured in a tragic accident during a work day at the baseball field.
One lesson that came from the experience: the published stories about Liberty County’s coming off a win over the defending Class 1A state champion.
“I have told the guys, now you’ve got a target on your back,” Summerlin said. “Every game you are going to get the other team’s number one (starter).
“Every game you are going to get the other team’s best defensive effort. You are going to get every team’s best.”
Around the Liberty County loss, the Tiger Sharks wrapped a pair of victories.
Port St. Joe 6, Wakulla Christian 2
Josh Butts earned the win on the mound and Jacob Hopper continued his hot early-season hitting.
“We are still kind of struggling offensively,” Summerlin said. “But it is coming. Our timing is getting there.”
Kelvin Griffin and Caden Turrell at the top of the order reached base on six of eight plate appearances, including a Griffin RBI single and Turrell’s three walks and run-scored.
“They did a great job of getting on base and we did a pretty good job of getting them in,” Summerlin said.
Hopper had three hits, including a double, and scored at the bottom of the order.
Butts pitched four innings allowing one run before giving way to John Austin Gee for one inning.
Tanner Amison pitched the final two innings.
Port St. Joe 3, Rutherford 1
Three pitchers combined to allow just a single unearned run and the Tiger Sharks scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Turrell, who has been swinging a hot bat early in the season, led off the sixth inning with a triple, scoring on a passed ball.
Hopper scored Butts on a sacrifice fly and John Gee scored later in the inning on a hit by Cameron Harmon.
“We hang our hat on the fight we have,” Summerlin said. “We said we had gotten what we could from our pitching, we need to grab this now.
“The game (the prior game, a 17-2 loss) against Bay, that was not us. To come back and play like we did tonight, that was great.”
“We are not where we want to be offensively, but we have done some good things.”
Caleb Butts started on the mound and pitched two-hit ball over four innings, allowing a single unearned run.
Kevin Lacivita pitched a scoreless inning of relief before Amison came on to pitch no-hit ball over two innings, using just 20 pitches while striking out three.
He had the unusual distinction of earning both the win and the save.
“He did a great job,” Summerlin said. “We have guys, a lot of (pitchers), we just need experience.
“We’re just trying to move them along and give them innings to pitch.”