Long County High School’s hometown got a great game Friday in Ludowici.
However, what they didn’t get was a Blue Tide win as Vidalia won a roller-coaster Region 2-AA battle with Long County, 10-8, in eight innings.
“It was a great game and a fun game to be a part of,” Long County head coach Brian Thomas said. “I have so much respect for Vidalia and coach (Greg) James. Both teams played their hearts out; it was a shame that one had to lose.”
The game went back and forth early, and at the end of five innings it was tied at 5. Vidalia scored three runs to go ahead, 8-5, going into the bottom of the seventh.
The Tide put on their rally caps and loaded the bases before Luke Golden cracked a triple to center field, scoring three runs to tie the game again and force extra innings. But in the top of the eighth, the Indians scored two runs to pull away.
“I thought that Luke stepping up and hitting the base-clearing triple in the bottom of the seventh was an absolutely great play,” Thomas said. “He truly stepped up and delivered for us in that situation … I just wish we could have finished better.”
Golden was 2 for 4 with three RBIs to lead Long County. Chase Rogers went 1 for 4 with two RBIs.
Pitcher Jacob Turner got the loss for Long County.
The region loss was the third in a row for the Blue Tide, who now have an impressive 12-8 overall record but a 7-8 region mark. Just a little over a week ago, Long County was riding a six-game win streak and posed a challenge for the second spot in the region standings. But after the losing streak, Long County was in the crucial fourth spot in the standings and is being challenged by the Indians (9-9 overall) and Metter High School (8-10), who both are 6-6 in the region.
Thomas knows that it is do-or-die for his team this week as they have three region games. Long County was scheduled to play Bacon County on Tuesday in Ludowici. On Friday, the Blue Tide travel to Lyons to take on Toombs County at 5:45 p.m. On Saturday, Long County goes to Metter to face the Tigers at 1 p.m.
“We have to have a good week; we need a few more wins to be able to get into the playoffs,” Thomas said. “Each game just got much more important … it’s going to be an exciting week.”