Harlem's rout of Westside muddies region picture


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Entering Tuesday night’s Region 3B-AAA baseball matchup against Harlem, Westside controlled it’s fate in the regular season’s final week.

Harlem's Chaise Dukes pitched a shutout with four strikeouts in the victory over Westside on Tuesday.  SCOTT ROUCH/STAFF
Harlem's Chaise Dukes pitched a shutout with four strikeouts in the victory over Westside on Tuesday.

A win against Harlem would have given the Patriots the chance to take first place by beating Richmond Academy on Friday night.

Instead, it was the Bulldogs putting themselves in position to claim the top spot with a 10-0, five-inning win.

The Bulldogs (14-5, 6-3) will finish either first or second with a win at Josey on Friday. If Grovetown beats Thomson on Friday night, Harlem would finish first.

“Control your own destiny, you either do or you don’t and we didn’t,” Patriots head coach Gerald Barnes said. “It’s disappointing that we played the way we did. Give them credit, they played mighty good.”

After Harlem starting pitcher Chaise Dukes shut down the Patriots in the top of the first, the Bulldogs scored four runs, knocking out Westside (13-6, 6-3) starter Jonathon Wilson (2-3).

With a run already in, Aaron Moore tripled to center field, driving in two of his four RBI on the night. He scored on a Devin Critell double.

Moore finished 2 for 3 with the four RBI while Critell was 2 for 3 with two RBI.

That was more than enough for Dukes (6-1), who pitched a four-hit shutout with four strikeouts.

“Chaise did a good job for us,” Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said. “He threw strikes, he made them swing and miss and pop-up.”

Things got interesting in the top of the fifth for Dukes after the Bulldogs stretched the lead to 10-0 with a five-run fourth.

The Patriots loaded the bases with one out, but Dukes got consecutive full-count strikeouts to end the game.

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