There were a few speed bumps along the way, but the ending was a happy one for the LaGrange Grangers.
Facing Fayette County in a Region 5-AAAA game on Monday at home, the Grangers were down by four runs early, but they fought back to win it 5-4.
Larkin Easterwood walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning to drive in the decisive run.
The Grangers (7-8 overall) improved to 3-1 in the region heading into today’s road game against Sandy Creek.
Fayette County isn’t considered to be one of the region’s elite teams, but it put up a fight and nearly came away with the road win.
“Like I told the guys, and hopefully they’re believers now,” Herrington said. “It doesn’t matter who we play in this region, every game is a dogfight. Fayette County is much-improved.”
Logan Carson got the win in relief, Caleb Buchanan had a solo home run, and Jackson Shelnutt and Logan Moody each had RBI singles.
In the seventh inning, the Grangers won the game without getting a hit.
With one out, Buchanan reached on an error, and the next three batters all walked.
After John Patterson and Wynton Heard walked, Easterwood stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out.
After getting ahead 3-0, the next two pitches were strikes, and it was 3-2.
Easterwood then watched the next pitch sail out of the strike zone, and the Grangers had the win.
With Fayette County’s pitcher struggling to put the ball over the plate, Herrington said his hitters did a nice job staying patient.
“We could have chased a few of those pitches,” Herrington said. “We stayed within ourselves.”
Fayette County started quickly, with Alex Adorno depositing a ball over the outfield fence for a two-run home run in the first inning.
Fayette County added single runs in the second and third innings to build a 4-0 lead.
“I give them all kind of credit. They came ready to play,” Herrington said of Fayette County. “They swung the bats well today.”
With two on and two outs in the third inning, Herrington brought Carson into the game in relief of Sam Hacker.
Carson got out of the inning without any more runs scoring, and the junior held Fayette County scoreless the rest of the way.
LaGrange began its comeback in the fourth inning, with Buchanan delivering a solo home run to make it 4-1.
Heard later reached on an error, and he eventually came home on a double steal to trim Fayette County’s lead to 4-2.
The Grangers tagged on another run in the fifth inning.
Moody led off with a single, went to second on a stolen base, and scored on a Shelnutt base hit.
Jake Farrar followed with a single to put two runners on with one out, but the Grangers were unable to push the tying run across.
LaGrange pulled even in the sixth inning, with Moody coming through with a two-out single to bring in Hakeem Stargell.
After Fayette County was retired in the top of the seventh, thanks in large part to a double play, LaGrange won it in the bottom of the inning.
After today’s game against Sandy Creek, LaGrange will be back home on Thursday to face the rival Troup Tigers.
LaGrange finishes the week on Friday with a game at Carrollton.
“If we’re not ready to play, (Sandy Creek) can get on a roll and put a lot of pressure on you,” Herrington said. “So you better be ready. We can not look to Thursday and Friday.”