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GISA STATE BASEBALL PLAYOFF ROUNDUP: TAE nearly upsets No. 1 seed; Southland falters in Game 3

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

After upsetting No. 1 seed Christian Heritage in the opening game of the GISA Class AA State Tournament on Friday, fourth-ranked Terrell Academy lost a pair of close games to the Lions on Saturday to end its playoff run.

Christian Heritage (11-2) won Game 2, 6-3, and came back to win Game 3, 9-8.

"I am pleased with the way my guys battled all weekend," Terrell Academy coach Ashley Walker said. "My guys never gave up. They hung in there and fought and left everything on the field."

The Eagles (9-16), who jumped out to a 5-1 advantage in Game 3, simply ran out of pitching and watched Christian Heritage score eight unanswered runs and take a 9-5 lead. Terrell Academy scored three runs in the sixth inning but couldn't find that final run to force extra innings.

Josh Wardrip (5-for-8, 3 RBI), Clint Smith (4-for-8, 2 RBI) and Adam O'Hearn (3-for-6, 2 RBI) led Terrell Academy at the plate.

O'Hearn pitched a complete game in the opener of the doubleheader, giving up six runs and eight hits and striking out six. Smith started Game 3 and threw three innings before being relieved by Josh Brunswick, who threw one and a third innings and picked up the loss.

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SOUTHLAND KNOCKED OUT:

Southland missed its chance to sweep the first round of the GISA playoffs on Friday, and an error in Saturday's decisive game helped send the Raiders home.

Down 2-1 in the third, John Milledge scored three runs after the error would have ended the inning, and the Raiders went on to lose, 6-1.

Southland finished the season 10-13.

"Pitching and defense was great, but we just couldn't get a timely hit," said Southland coach John Brady. "I think we allowed three earned runs in three games. We couldn't get it done at the plate, and it's extremely frustrating."

The Raiders lost the first game, 2-1, on Friday before coming back to win the nightcap, 5-0.

We played well, but made a couple of mistakes in the first game that really hurt us, both at the plate and in the field," Brady said. "We had two great pitching performances, but we came up a little short in one of them."

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Herald staff writer John Millikan and Americus Times-Recorder sports editor Chris Whitaker contributed to this report