Tattnall County 6 Long County 5:
The Blue Tide opened region play and a 3-game series with the Tattnall County Battle Creek Warriors Monday night in Ludowici. The Tide led most of the game behind a strong performance from senior pitcher Rex Johnson and a solid defensive effort.
Johnson threw 4 complete innings allowing 5 hits and 1 run, striking out 2 and walking 3. Long County fell behind early 1-0 in the top of the 1st inning but claimed the lead in the bottom of the 2nd on RBI singles from Carlos Cruz and Trevor Ray.
Allen Crystal extended the lead with an RBI double in the 5th, and the Tide added two more in the 6th on a sacrifice fly by Cruz and a straight steal of home by Dwayne Rowe.
The Tide carried a 5-1 lead into the top of the 7th but were unable to close the deal as the Warriors pushed across 5 runs to stun the home team and crowd, claiming game 1 by a score of 6-5, as the Tide went in order in the bottom of the inning.
Uncharacteristically, the Blue Tide gave the Warriors one too many outs and too many free passes to the base paths. In the inning Tattnall collected just 3 singles, one which never left the infield, but were aided by a Long County error and 4 walks.
Allen Crystal went 2-3 with an RBI, Carlos Cruz went 1-2 with 2 RBIs, and Trevor Ray contributed a hit and an RBI.
Tattnall 9 Long County 8:
The Blue Tide and the Warriors squared off again for game 2 of the series Wednesday, this time in Reidsville, and the results were very similar with the Warriors pulling out another last inning victory. Allen Crystal got the start on the mound, and after the Warriors put together 5 hits and a sacrifice fly, scoring 4 runs, Crystal settled in nicely giving his team a chance to come back, and they did just that.
The Blue Tide sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the 2nd, scoring 7 runs on 4 hits, a sacrifice fly, and 3 Warrior errors. Hayden Beasley and Carlos Cruz each had RBI singles in the rally.
The Blue Tide were able to stretch the 7-4 lead to 8-4 in the top of the 3rd on another RBI single from Cruz. But the Warriors chipped away at the lead with 2 unearned runs in the bottom of the 4th to move the score to 8-6 Long County.
The score remained 8-6 until once again, just like Monday night in Ludowici, the Warriors were able to capitalize on a couple of clutch hits and some Blue Tide benevolence in the bottom of the 7th. Tattnall County scored 3 runs on just two hits, 1 walk, an error, and a couple of wild pitches to walk off with yet another stunning come from behind win.
With the loss, the Blue Tide drop to 0-2 in Region 2AAA, with a chance to get back on track and salvage game 3 of the series Friday in Ludowici.
Carlos Cruz led the Blue Tide offensively with 2 hits, 2 RBIs, and a run scored. Ethan Williams went 2-3 with 2 runs scored and a walk. Dwayne Rowe and Hayden Beasley each added a hit, a run, and an RBI. Luke Wells had a hit and Allen Crystal chipped in with an RBI.
The Tide will look to put the disappointment of 2 last inning defeats and a 0-2 start to region play. The road gets no easier next week when they will match up for two games in Blackshear and one in Ludowici as they take on their next region foe in the Pierce County Bears. Monday and Friday’s games will be on the road, with Wednesday’s game at home in Ludowici.