The Long County High School baseball team was scheduled to play its season finale against Vidalia on Thursday.
Instead, the 2011 season ended in a rainout — since neither squad was challenging for a playoff spot.
The Blue Tide finished the year 8-17 overall and 2-13 in Region 2-AA.
But six of Long County’s losses were by two runs or less and three were to ranked teams — including a 4-2 loss to Toombs County and 6-5 setback to Appling County.
The Blue Tide later beat the Pirates, who finished the season as the No. 2 team in 2-AA. The Blue Tide fared fairly well in non-region games. Long County went 6-4 and racked up wins over Bradwell Institute — a team headed into the state Class AAAAA playoffs — and Groves.
The Blue Tide return juniors Brandon Hope and Tony Fowler and talented freshman Austin Middleton. But sophomores also played key roles for the Blue Tide this year, and most will be back as juniors. Jacob Turner, Shane Deloach and Chase Rogers all got varsity experience in 2011, while Shawn Mills and Luke Golden saw plenty of time on the mound.
Golden showcased his potential in March with a no-hitter against McIntosh County Academy. Mills showed he had the arm to go deep into games on several different occasions.
But though the Tide should be better in 2012, the reality is they still will be playing in 2-AA, which is one of the toughest regions in Class AA. The top four teams in the region were Jeff Davis, Appling County, Pierce County, and Brantley County, Those squads won a combined 56 games, while non playoff teams Toombs County, Tattnall County and Vidalia still combined for a total of 33 wins.
Pick up a Friday edition of the Coastal Courier to see how the 2011 Blue Tide seniors were honored.