THOMASTON - Hogansville’s players didn’t let an awful start derail them.
In the opening game of the Dixie Youth Baseball 9-10-year-old District 1 tournament on Saturday, Hogansville found itself in a 4-0 hole after the top of the first inning.
The rest of the game belonged to Hogansville, though, which scored the final eight runs to roll to an 8-4 victory.
Hogansville will play Troup American at 6 p.m. today in Thomaston as it looks to move a step closer to securing one of the district’s two invitations to the state tournament.
“I’m thrilled the way they battled through the adversity, and came back and got a win,” Hogansville coach Ron Wilson said.
One of the heroes for Hogansville was pitcher Trent Brawner, who entered the game in relief with one out in the top of the second and his team trailing 4-1.
Brawner got out of a jam with a strikeout and a groundout, with third baseman Tyson Duncan making a nice scoop and throw.
Brawner didn’t allow a hit during his 4 2/3 innings to get the win.
Hogansville was within a run when it exploded for five runs in the fifth inning to grab a four-run lead.
Brawner worked around a two-out walk in the top of the sixth to finish things off.
Wilson said the laid-back nature of the players helped them stay relaxed after the difficult start.
Hogansville even overcame an unusual triple play in the third inning.
“Since we’ve been practicing, our coaches have agreed that they never see them nervous,” Wilson said. “They’re a very loose group of kids. It’s just another baseball game to them. We were more worried than they were. But I like that. They don’t get down.”
Hogansville notched its first run in the bottom of the first, with Ben Alford driving in Jaxon Dennis with an infield single.
Hogansville pushed two more runs across in the third inning.
With the bases loaded, Dennis came to the plate and delivered a two-run single, and Manchester’s lead was down to one.
It looked like Hogansville was going to at least tie the game, but Manchester got out of the inning with its lead still intact thanks to an unusual play.
Alford popped out on the infield, and the runner on third took off for home and scored, but it was ruled he left third base too soon, so he was out.
The runner who had been on second never slowed down and tried to score, but the home-plate umpire said the catcher tagged him, so that was the third out of the inning.
The umpires huddled to make sure they were on the same page, and the play stood, so it was a triple play.
It was a tough break, but two innings later, Hogansville broke through for the lead.
After Mason Wolfe walked, Nate Lee tied the game with an RBI double.
Houston Wilson was hit by a pitch, and Justin Yi drove in the go-ahead run with a fielder’s choice, with an infielder making an unsuccessful throw home in an effort to retire Lee.
Trey Dukes came through with an RBI single to push the lead to 6-4, and Blake Howell put down a perfectly-placed bunt to bring in another run.
Dennis capped the rally with an RBI double, and Hogansville’s lead was four.
Manchester was unable to answer in the top of the sixth, and that was that.