The Long County High School baseball team defeated Bradwell Insitute, 15-11, on Wednesday in Ludowici.
The win improved the Blue Tide’s record to 8-15, while the Tigers fell to 15-7.
The game went back and forth all night.
Bradwell jumped out to an early lead by scoring four runs in the first inning, but Long County tied the score, 4-4, in the second. After BI picked up a run in the top of the fifth inning, Long County scored eight runs in the bottom of the inning to go up, 12-5.
However, if the fans in the park thought the game was over, they were mistaken. With a double by Eric Wells and a single by Garrett McCorkle both sending runners home in the top of the sixth, the Tigers narrowed the score to 12-7.
They continued to fight and managed to load the bases with only one out. At this point, Blue Tide coach Brian Thomas pulled starter Jonathon Flynn and inserted closer Austin Middleton, who struck out Mitch Rogers and then induced Matt Brown into a ground-ball out to end the inning and leave three runners on base.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Tide scored a run on a Tigers throwing error and then had runners at second and third with one out.
Gage Kasperian cracked a double down the third-base line to score both runners. Long County extended its lead to 15-7 by the end of the inning, and the game appeared to be over.
But in the top of the seventh, the Tigers continued to fight. With singles by Leonard Felton, Chris Rafferty and Jacob Dill, Bradwell put up four more runs to make the score 15-11.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Xavier John recorded a strikeout to seal the win.
Flynn got the win, Middleton got the save, and Tigers starter McCorkle picked up the tough loss.
The Tide had 13 hits and committed four errors, while the Tigers had 11 hits and three errors.
“We did hit the ball well tonight and when they got out on top of us early, we came back strong and then put the pressure on them, scoring enough runs to hold on for the win,” Thomas said.
Though the Blue Tide have been eliminated from post-season play, Thomas said he still expects his team to finish the season strong.
“We want to sprint to the finish line,” he said. “We want to take pride out on to the field with us every time until the very last game of the season.”
Long County faced Brantley County (9-11) on Wednesday in Nahunta. The Tide host the Herons on Tuesday, which also is Recreation Night in Long County. All recreation-department players who attend the game in uniform will be admitted free and also will be able to stand on the field with the Blue Tide when the National Anthem is played. The game starts at 5:45 p.m.
Check out photos from the Blue Tide/Tigers game in the photo galleries at www.coastalcourier.com.