By Kevin Eckleberry firstname.lastname@example.org
June 26, 2014
THOMASTON - Hogansville coach Ron Wilson wasn’t sure what the outcome of Thursday’s game would be, but he knew his team would keep fighting, no matter the situation.
So when his team fell behind Troup National 6-0 in the Dixie Youth Baseball 9-10-year-old District 1 championship game on Thursday, he was confident his team could get back in the game.
“There was no quit at all,” Wilson said. “They’re going to fight until the final out. That’s the thing I love most about them is they’re not going to give up until that final out.”
That attitude helped Hogansville rally to tie the game at 6-6 in the fifth inning.
Unfortunately for Hogansville, it was unable to complete the comeback victory, with Troup National pushing four runs across in the top of the sixth inning to capture a 10-8 win.
Hogansville was denied the district title, although it still secured one of the district’s two invitations to the state tournament.
“We had what the coaches thought were some bad calls. That’s baseball. You have to overcome those,” Wilson said.
“We hit the ball really good, just like they did. It just wasn’t enough.”
After watching some scoring opportunities go by the wayside through the first three innings, Hogansville broke through for three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut its six-run deficit in half.
Ben Alford got things started with a one-out single, and he eventually scored his team’s first run on a wild pitch.
Trent Brawner, Jacob Karvelas and Mason Wolfe reached on consecutive walks, and Brawner ended up scoring on a double steal.
Nate Lee then delivered an RBI single to make it a 6-3 game, and Troup National pitcher Zack Thompson got a flyout to escape the inning without any further damage.
Hogansville then tied it in the fifth inning, with Alford coming through with a huge, clutch hit.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Alford stepped to the plate as a rain that was light at the start of the inning started to come down more forcefully.
Alford got a pitch to his liking, and he hammered the ball to the center-field fence for a triple to bring Houston Wilson, Justin Yi and Tyson Duncan in to score.
Just like that, the game was tied.
“We had the one bit hit by Ben Alford that tied the ballgame,” Wilson said. “That really boosted our morale.”
The momentum Hogansville had gained didn’t continue into the sixth inning, though, with Troup National plating four runs to build a 10-6 lead.
Hogansville still had one final at-bat to try to stage another rally.
Hogansville pushed two runs across, but it wasn’t enough.
Brawner walked and later scored on an error to make it a 10-7 game, and Karvelas reached on an infield single and came around to score on a groundout by Wolfe.
Trey Dukes kept hope alive when he came through with a two-out single, and he made it to second when the throw to first got away, but he was unable to score.
Jaxon Dennis got the start for Hogansville, and he pitched into the sixth inning before he was relieved by Alford.