Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School baseball Coach Ashley Summerlin said his team played defense like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde this week.
Defensively, the Tiger Sharks played one of the best games of the young season with a win over Franklin County last Friday.
On Tuesday, Summerlin said, his young charges could not have played worse.
“We played so well against Franklin County and come back and play one of the worst games against Bay,” Summerlin said.
“They had 12 hits, we had 12 hits, but defensively we just could not get it done.”
And it wasn’t as if the Tiger Sharks (2-2) rolled over after falling behind 3-0 early.
They closed to 3-2, allowed a run, closed to 4-3, allowed a run and finally allowed a crooked number in the sixth that put the game away.
“We came back, we did a good job of battling back,” Summerlin said. “It’s a learning experience. We have a lot of inexperienced guys.
“The question is, and I have been telling them this all season, how do we respond? I think we’ll bounce back (in practice) today and be fine on Friday.”
Caden Turrell paced Port St. Joe with a single, two triples, two runs and two RBIs.
Davis Varnes had two hits and drove in a run and Dorian Fleming also had two hits.
Miles Butler, John Austin Gee, Josh Odom and Damien Welch also had hits.
The Tiger Sharks are in the middle of March streak during which they won’t be leaving town for much of the month, playing nearly 10 consecutive homes games.
The schedule has them hosting Wewahitchka 7 p.m. ET Friday, a game that may or may not be rescheduled due to middle school play on the part of some of the Gators.
Tallahassee Florida High comes to visit for games at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. ET Saturday.
Vernon visits 7 p.m. ET Tuesday and Loudon, TN Wednesday.
Port St. Joe 2, Franklin County 0
The central plot for this game was on the mound in purple-and-gold.
Junior Carter Dortsch tossed a complete-game one-hitter, walking one and striking out 16.
Doing the math another way, his defense was required to make just five plays behind him.
“Our defense was good but then again we only had to make five plays,” Summerlin said. “The pitching and defense is how we won.”
Summerlin said he had seen Dortsch “grow up” when he came on in relief during the previous game against Arnold.
“His tempo was really bad at the beginning of the season, but he has changed,” Summerlin said. “He pitched well for us at the end of last season.”
The game was scoreless entering the seventh inning when a base hit, a pinch runner and a pinch-hit RBI single by Fleming, just out from the boys basketball run to the playoffs, led to the winning run.
Andre Hornsby drove in the other Port St. Joe run of the final inning.
“We didn’t do much on offense, just five hits, but we did enough to win and sometimes that is all that counts,” Summerlin said.