The message was the same.
On Friday, the LaGrange Grangers got a much-needed win over the Alexander Cougars.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak, and kept the Grangers firmly in the playoff picture in Region 5-AAAA.
As LaGrange coach Todd Herrington addressed his team after the game, though, his message was no different than it was after the four losses.
“I told them, enjoy this win, and it was a big win, be proud of yourself and enjoy it tonight, and then forget about it,” Herrington said. “Just put it behind you.”
It was, though, a game the Grangers desperately needed.
After five region games, the Grangers were in first place with a 4-1 record.
The Grangers then lost four straight games, and suddenly they found themselves in fifth place, which is a tenuous position since only the region’s top four teams make the playoffs.
LaGrange trailed 4-0 early in Friday’s game against Alexander before storming back for a 14-7 win.
Chas Pardue had a two-run home run in the third inning that pulled the Grangers even, and Jake Farrar put them on top with a three-run home run in the fifth inning.
Clinging to a 9-7 lead, the Grangers made sure they wouldn’t let the game slip away by scoring six runs in the bottom of the sixth.
“We had some guys that had been struggling at the plate who came through,” Herrington said. “Jake Farrar had been struggling a little bit, and he had some big hits.”
LaGrange also got a terrific effort out of the bullpen from Jake Howard, who gave up one unearned run in three innings to get the win.
LaGrange also got a huge defensive play from shortstop Hakeem Stargell in the top of the sixth inning.
With one run already in, Stargell charged and fielded a groundball near the pitcher’s mound, and he whipped the throw to first to get the base runner by about half a step.
“That was a great play on both ends. It was a clutch great play,” Herrington said. “And those are the kind of plays that have to be made to win, to get to the playoffs. He made a big-time play. I was proud of him.”
The win evened the Grangers’ region record at 5-5, and they’re in a three-way tie for fourth place with Troup and Shaw.
LaGrange split its two games with Shaw, and it lost to Troup earlier this season.
LaGrange and Troup will meet for the second time on Friday.
Before that game, LaGrange is scheduled to visit Fayette County today, although that game could be in doubt because of rain.
LaGrange will host Sandy Creek on Thursday before Friday’s showdown against Troup.
LaGrange wraps up its region schedule with a home game against Carrollton on April 22.
“It is a cliché, but it’s true. It’s one game at a time,” Herrington said.