The Toombs County Bulldogs were faced with two deficits in their second game at Banks County. TCHS trailed 5-0 after the top of the second inning and 7-6 going to the bottom of the eighth. Each time the Bulldogs rallied to take the lead including in their final at bat in an 8-7 victory in eight innings that sends the them to the Elite 8 for the third time since the 2010 season.
The Bulldogs will play former Region 3 AAA rival Dodge County in a best-of-three series which begins on Wednesday, May 10 at 4:30 p.m. in Eastman. The other match ups are Berrien County at Jeff Davis, Bacon County at Bleckley County and Thomasville versus Elbert County.
Banks County smashed four doubles in the first two innings and scored a run in the first inning and four in the second to take a 5-0 lead.
Toombs rallied with two doubles in the bottom of the second by Lane Adams and Brandon Helton who drove in the Dawgs’ first run. Dalton McBride’s grounder to short made it 5-2 in the third inning and Brock Harrison and pinch hitter Bryce Deloach each singled in a run in the fourth to cut the Leopard lead to 5-4.
Toombs left runners on second and third in the fifth prior to taking the lead in the sixth. Martin Stephens doubled in a pair of runs with a deep drive to right center field to give Toombs County it’s first lead of the game at 6-5.
A leadoff walk in the seventh scored on a Judd Roberts two-out single and now the game was even at 6-6. TCHS left a runner at third in the bottom of the seventh and then a leadoff walk in the eighth scored on Grant Rylee’s double to left and now Banks County was on top 7-6.
In the bottom of the eighth Deloach reached on an error and took second base on the high throw from third base. Stephens followed with a RBI hit which tied the game. D.R. Meadows singled and Dalton McBride was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one down for George Lucke. The senior Dawg extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a walk-off single to right field which scored courtesy runner Dalton Lynn to end the game.
Adams pitched 7 1/3 innings and allowed four doubles and five earned runs in the first two innings and then he retired 13-out-of-14 Leopards including nine in a row. Stephens threw the final 2/3 of an inning and was the winning pitcher.
Pictures by Salain Meadows