Eagles take double wins from Georgia powerhouses

By Ray DiMonda Correspondent
Posted 3/10/21

FLEMING ISLAND - In high school baseball, double-header games are rare. When Fleming Island baseball coach Grant Bigilin committed to Colquitt County (GA) Packers Head Coach Matt Crews, that he would …

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Eagles take double wins from Georgia powerhouses


FLEMING ISLAND - In high school baseball, double-header games are rare. When Fleming Island baseball coach Grant Bigilin committed to Colquitt County (GA) Packers Head Coach Matt Crews, that he would get them two games if they made the trip, he was a man of his words.
“They were willing to make the trip and we were willing to accommodate them,” said Bigilin. “With COVID, and the schedules all getting interesting, if I couldn’t find them a second game on Saturday, I’d play them twice. It worked out for everybody.”
The Golden Eagles faced off with the Packers at 4:30, and again at 7PM Friday night and cashed in on opportunity. In the end, the Golden Eagles may have made the long drive back to Norman Park, Georgia just a little longer as Fleming Island took both games with a monster inning in each meet. It just may be the shoes (read on).
In the 4:30 matchup, with each team not knowing anything about one another, it was like two prize fighters dancing in the ring for the first round or two. Where will they play the outfield, where do they shift when we hit short?
For Bigilin, it was sticking with what works with this crew.
“It’s our MO. Throw strikes and let the defense work. Have some timely hitting and it will all work out,” said Bigilin.
For the Golden Eagles, it was solid defense that kept the Packers at arm’s length. For most of game one, the worst that happened were two Packer runners on, only to leave them abandoned on the bases with Fleming Island defense.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Golden Eagle bats sprung to life. Angelo Scionti was safe at first with the help of a Packer error. That crack in the dam is all the Golden Eagles needed to blow it wide open. Abram Summers went for the fence to sacrifice fly, but the ball was dropped and the Golden Eagles were poised to strike with two runners on. Aiden Mastentuno singled on a line drive to right field, scoring Scionti. The RBI’s continued with Justin Lebesch, Jack Gidcumb, who had Justin Corfield come in and run for him all night, getting down and dirty several times, and Drew Homitz with a sacrifice fly RBI that had Fleming Island up by five. “It’s always good to have a crooked number inning. You can’t be upset when you have a big inning like that.” The Packers would cross the plate once in the top of the fifth, but Fleming Island put some icing on the cake in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI single by Gavin Billingsley that scored Drew Homitz. Dylan Dudones captured the win with help from Divine Valle and Carson Grimm on the mound. Game one final, 6-1.
After a break in the action, dressing the field, and time for everyone to get some calories, game two began with Big Lefty Cody Carwile on the hill.
In game two, Bigilin had a little more of what he wants from his offense.
“I like when it is consistent. One here, two there,” Bigilin said.
The Golden Eagles went up a run earlier in game two.
In the bottom of the second, Gidcumb would be hit with a pitch, which brought Corfield back out to run. Corfield stole second, and was brought around when Homitz again slapped the horse hide on the ground to left field, one-zip. In the fourth, Mastantuno gets on base with a center field grounder, and is joined on the bases when Gidcumb walked. Marcus Murray logged an RBI single with a grounder back to the Pitcher, scoring Mastantuno, 2-0.

The Packers scored in the top of the fifth inning which seemed to light a fire in the Golden Eagle dugout.
Caleb Simmons took a walk to start the engine with no outs. Mastantuno pounded a shot to right field that gave the Packers a ton of trouble. Simmons made the trip all the way around to add another. Justin Lebesch grounded into a fielder’s choice, was safe, but with two outs, would the rally continue? No problem as Gidcumb stayed red hot with an RBI single to score Lebesch. Enter duty runner Corfield once again, and again he goes into theft mode grabbing a steal to second. Murray gladly accepted a walk to first, and advanced with a passed ball. With Corfield on third, Homitz singled to center to again score Corfield for the sixth Golden Eagle score. The Packers could only best the score by one as they added a run at the top of the seventh to finish six-two. Carson Grimm saw some late action on the hill, getting the save with the last four outs.
“Three runs over 14 innings, we’ll take that,” said Bigilin.
Now at seven straight wins, Bigilin was asked about his unique white shoes having anything to do with the string of victories, chock full of silver glitter and gold. “It’s the shoes. The boys love the shoes. I’ve worn these shoes every game. They are unbeaten. We were only on the road once, and that was at the Baseball Grounds at Jacksonville against Ridgeview. They wore Blue, we were white on white, so I wore the shoes. We’ll see what happens when we have to go on the road and I have to switch to the gray ones. We’ll see…”


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