Veterans had only to beat Peach County to win it outright but the Trojans pulled off what was arguably the upset of the year by beating Veterans 10-6, also on Thursday.
The loss by both left the Raiders and Warhawks tied at 15-3 and according to Head Coach David Coffey it would then revert to “runs allowed in ‘head-to-head’ competition”. That then goes to Veterans as it gave up seven runs to West Laurens' 11 combined in the two games they played.
So from Veterans to Howard: Thank you. Although, it should be added the Huskies may not deem it necessary as they are currently making their own accolades - the win over the Raiders was their sixth straight.
As far as Thursday, the Trojans did all of their scoring early. They scored four in the first – Veterans answered with three in the bottom of the inning – and six in the third.
The Warhawks pushed two across in the second and one in the fourth while only being out-hit 8-7. Both teams committed three errors.
Dylan Burgess pitched all seven innings for Peach County, which won only its fifth ballgame – with 18 losses. Veterans fell to 18-8 overall.
Dylan Spires worked two and two-thirds for the Warhawks. He gave up six hits and all 10 runs. He walked three and struck out three. R.J. Skeen worked four and a third, walking two and striking out eight.
Blake Jackson had three of the Warhawks’ hits. One of those was a double and he drove in three runs in all. Dylan Pierce had the only other RBI.
Things were even grimmer in Perry where the Panthers fell to Mary Persons 10-1. The battle was for the last spot in the state tournament, that obviously going to the Bulldogs.
A five-run first helped set the pace – they added one in the fourth an fourth in the sixth. Josh Benson on the mound helped ensure the lead stuck. He struck out 10 while giving up only four hits.
One of those was Ryan Chaney’s double in the second that scored Weston Davis, who had walked.
Perry’s biggest threat to get back in it came in the fifth when it loaded the bases with an out. But Nathan Murphy’s fly ball to center was caught and then Joey Westbrook was thrown out on the tag to end the inning and the threat.