TERRY 4 PICAYUNE 7 (8)
Picayune doesn't know the word quit. They battle to the very end making sure when the final out is recorded the Maroon Tide have risen above the competition.
Monday night Picayune head coach Kent Kirkland watched his club take a 2-nothing lead in the bottom of the third, the last one on a grounder off the bat of Rhyne Hughes plating Darby Jackson from 3rd base.
Terry loaded the bases in the top of the fifth. Ace pitcher Van Pope stepped up to the plate and delivered a two run single tying the game at 2. Lon Williamson and Adam Davis scored on the hit.
Kyle Bridges chopped a single over third base, William Evans galloped home giving Terry a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth Rhyne Hughes came through again for the Maroon Tide. His 2 run homer over the right field wall gave Picayune a 4-3 advantage.
Terry wouldn't fold. Van Pope doubled home the tying run in the top of the 7th and it was a new ball game.
A ball game that came down to a thrilling 3 run blast off the bat of Maroon Tide catcher Cody Stogner. He sent Van Pope's pitch sailing to deep left field. That was the game winner in the bottom of the 8th inning.
Stogner said, "I waited on the 2-0 count, waiting on a fast ball. I just knew it was coming and I said I've got to take it and wouldn't let it go by. Its been something I've dreamed about all my life by hitting a home run to win a game and it's an awesome feeling for any baseball player."
Terry rallied from a 9-1 beating last Thursday forcing a third and final deciding game Monday night with a 4-3 victory over Picayune Saturday. That set the stage for Picayune's thrilling finish.
Maroon Tide head coach Kent Kirkland said, "When we left Terry we left on a positive note. Our seniors stepped up tonight. It's just unbelievable."
Justin Pigott on just four days rest went the distance on the mound for the Maroon Tide and improves to 12 and 0.
Picayune (33-2) advances to the 4A State Finals hosting New Hope in game one of the best-of-three championship series Thursday night at 6:00 p.m.
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