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Mary Persons sweeps Long County in first-round matchup
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FORSYTH -- The Long County Blue Tide baseball team’s 2024 season came to an end in the first round of the playoffs. The team traveled to take on Region 2-AAA champion Mary Persons on Tuesday and dropped both games of the doubleheader 11-1 and 11-0.

Jai Thomas started off the first game with a double and scored on Shannon Filkins’ sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.

But that was the only run the Tide could muster for the remainder of the series.

However, this was the only run the Tide would muster for the remainder of the day. In the bottom of the first, the Bulldogs opened strong as well.

Cole Carr’s single following two one-out walks tied the game, and with two out, Nic Arnold singled to left field to bring in two runs for a 3-1 lead. He scored to make it 4-1 on Caden Taylor’s single.

Ten of the Bulldogs’ 11 runs in the first game scored with two outs.

The Tide did not record another hit for the next two innings, getting two base runners on walks. The Bulldogs, however, turned the heat on over the three innings, adding a run in each to go up 7-1 in the fourth.

Two singles in the top of the fifth gave the Tide some hope, but they could not take advantage as they still trailed by six going into the bottom of the inning.

The Bulldogs poured some salt on the Tide’s wounds in the inning as they added two on a Ryan Causey home run to center. The Bulldogs added two runs in the inning to win the game 11-1 on a mercy rule win.

Mary Persons scored twice in the top of the first in Game 2 to take a 2-0 lead, and the Tide got back-to-back singles in the second to mount a threat. But the inning ended when a runner was caught trying to steal third base with two outs.

The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the third, and with one out, Arnold’s grand slam opened a 6-0 lead.

Jake Gore’s two-run triple capped a three-run rally in the sixth, and the Bulldogs tacked on the final two runs in the seventh.

With the loss, the Tide’s season comes to an end with a record of 14-11. They lose six seniors to graduation but hope to return catcher Kenny Pickens and pitchers Dylan Lester and Nick Sizemore, who missed most of the season due to an injury, in 2025. 

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