Loganville brought Veterans’ year to an end Thursday. The Red Devils beat the Warhawks 11-4 in the third and deciding game of their Class AAAAA Elite Eight series.
The outcome really wasn’t decided until the seventh. Loganville, which had lost the coin toss for which would be the home team, scored six runs that inning. Five walks played a major role. One of those was charged to starting pitcher Jack Waldrop, who had done a good job of keeping Veterans close up to that point – giving up eight hits, but seven of them came in the second and third in which the Red Devils scored three and one runs, respectively – but gave up the free pass to start the inning, and then gave up a single following. Korbin Hollensteiner relieved him gave up four more walks and two singles.
That proved to be all the more critical considering the fact the Warhawks had scored two in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 5-3 ballgame – Loganville’s fifth run coming in the top of the sixth.
Veterans’ first run came in the fourth when Gabe Holt walked. He was pinch-run for by Spencer Sebero who moved to second then third on wild pitches and came home on Derek Wylie’s grounder.
Those in the sixth came via a hit-by-pitch to Wylie, a single by Hollensteiner – with the throw to first going into the outfield and allowing Wylie to score and Hollensteiner to reach second – and an RBI single by Ben Gibbs. That also got lefty Seth Clark – a player who had pitched a no-hitter against Ola to enable Loganville to advance against to where they were – out of the game. He left having given up five hits, two walks and striking out five.
Veterans final run came in the seventh. Jacob Giles singled and eventually scored on Holt’s single.
Veterans finished its year at 27-11. Loganville improved to 26-12 and moved on to play Starr’s Mill.
GAME 1 and 2
Jacob Giles and Gabe Holt were the perfect pair.
Meaning each scored two runs in the first game of Veterans’ Elite Eight doubleheader Wednesday at Logansville.
That proved to be the difference as the Warhawks won 4-3. Two of those runs came in the first when Giles led off the game with a single. Holt in turn followed and reached on an error by the left fielder. A wild pitch enabled both to move up a base and another wild pitch allowed Giles to score. Leyton Pinckney then doubled home Holt. He was in turn stranded as starting pitcher Joseph Brandon settled in.
The Red Devils in turn tied it with a pair of runs – also on two hits – in the bottom half of the inning.
The Warhawks went in order in the second but got back on the scoreboard in the third. Giles again led off with a single. Holt then homered.
That was to do it for runs, although they did leave runners on second and third that inning, a runner on first in the fourth, one on second in the fifth and two on in the sixth – seven total.
Meanwhile, with Ben Gibbs pitching a gem, Loganville left one on second in the second but went in order in the third and fourth. Two got on in the fifth and sixth but neither scored.
The nail-biter for the travelers came in the seventh.
Rhett Mixon left off with a single. The next two flew out to left. Gabe Knight then singled and Dustin Moss came in to pinch hit for Bay Witcher – in the cleanup spot no less. He was up to the task, however, singling in Mixon and making it 4-3.
Gibbs, after a visit to the mound by Head Coach David Coffey, then got the next hitter, Dylan Strickland, to fly out and end the ballgame.
The nightcap was pretty much all Red Devils. They won 9-1, Witcher working a complete game and striking out nine.
The split set up a third and deciding game three, which is set for Thursday – first pitch at 6 p.m.