While it was Evans’ senior night Monday, it felt more like a casual Friday.
After beating Harlem 16-2 to open the 2013 campaign, the Knights ended their regular season with a 10-0 whitewashing of the Bulldogs in six innings.
The atmosphere more resembled that of a major league spring training game than one of a game pitting county rivals at the end of the season. Coming out of spring break and competing in separate regions, both teams had the bigger picture in mind.
“We played Saturday and had a good game, and it was good to get another one under our belts today and start to try to gear up for the region. It’s going to be tough,” Evans coach Ricky Beale said.
The Knights (13-5) open the Region 2-AAAAA tournament Thursday as the No. 2 seed playing host to No. 3 Jones County in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.
Having thrown starters Kyle Anderson, Garrett Wilkinson and Tyler Roberts in a win against South Aiken on Saturday, Beale was able to get more work in for Roberts and for Andrew Smith, David Rivera and Patrick O’Neal.
“Today was to try to give everybody some innings that might need to come in relief or start if we go to three games (Thursday),” Beale said.
The Knights’ staff faced two batters over the limit, holding the Bulldogs to just a single in the second inning by Dalton Green. Rivera struck out five of the six batters he faced.
The Knights scored twice in the second to give Smith (1-1) the win, scored five in the fifth and finished it with three in the sixth.
Bulldogs coach Jimmie Lewis was equally candid about the game, saying the Bulldogs (7-12) just need to prepare for the stretch run in Region 3-AA.
“We’ve got to beat Screven; we’ve got to beat East Laurens; we’ve got to beat Westside and Laney. That’s all that matters,” he said. “This right here – no disrespect to them – they’ve got a good team, but this is glorified practice.”