CORDELE — One of the best seasons in Georgia baseball history is over.
Crisp County, which came into Wednesday’s matchup with Allatoona a perfect 27-0 and ranked No. 10 in the nation in ESPN’s Top 50 poll, was swept out of the GHSA Class AAA state playoffs in the same round it lost in last year.
Crisp fell in Game 1, 4-2, after five costly errors, then lost a heartbreaker in Game 2, 2-1, in 11 innings. Allatoona (23-8) also won Game 2 on a Crisp error when second baseman Chris Yawn tried to a turn a double play that would’ve ended the inning and sent the game to the top of the 12th. But Yawn committed an errant throw to first that allowed the winning run to score, thus ending Crisp’s season in brutal, bitter fashion.
“I told the kids (after Game 1) that whoever didn’t make mistakes would come out on top,” Crisp coach Bill Pate said. “I hate that it turned out the way it did.”
Crisp led in both games before errors did the Cougars in. Crisp was ahead, 1-0, in the fifth inning of Game 1 when the Cougars made three errors and allowed three runs to score — none of them being earned — and spoil a solid day on the mound by starter Davis Adkins, who had allowed just two hits and struck out four up to that point. In Game 2, ace Robert Tyler took a no-hitter into the bottom of the seventh as Crisp led, 1-0. Allatoona’s Clate Schmidt — a Clemson signee who struck out 11 in Game 2 and allowed just three Cougars hits — got the first hit of the game off Tyler and would later score in the seventh to tie it. Neither team would score again until Yawn’s error in the bottom of the 11th, which is where the Cougars’ fate was sealed.
Reliever Luke Whitman walked two Allatoona batters, then Taylor Walls came on and induced a double-play ground ball that should’ve ended the inning. Instead, the crowd in Cordele sat stunned as Allatoona came around and scored the winning run on the throwing error to end Crisp’s season.
Tyler, a junior, was the only Crisp batter to have a multi-hit game in both contests as the Cougars finish 27-2 overall.
“In baseball, you get your opportunities, and when you miss them, the other team takes advantage,” Pate said. “This is a great group of kids, and we were like family from the beginning. I couldn’t have asked for a more cohesive group. As for these six seniors, they were fantastic. I’m going to miss them.”
CALVARY DAY 6, MILLER COUNTY 0: The Pirates are on the verge of seeing their season end if they don’t find a way to win today’s Game 2 of their GHSA Class A Sweet 16 state playoff series.
Miller managed just two hits in Game 1 on Wednesday as Michael Cowart shouldered the loss after going the distance, giving up five hits and six runs. He also struck out five, but Calvary maximized every opportunity it had and Calvary starting pitcher Hunter Newman — who is headed to LSU next year — was lights out to take a 1-0 lead.
“Newman is good. He’s really good. He pounded the strike zone all day,” Miller coach Chris Buckhalter said. “We’ve got to do a better job of putting the ball in play.”
The teams attempted to play Game 2 when the rain came in the third inning, postponing it until today at noon.
And that was the best news of the day for Miller (17-9), which was already down, 10-0, when the game was called.
“The game was scratched. We start over (today), 0-0. Their 10-0 lead is gone,” Buckhalter said, citing a GHSA rule that terminates a game that has not gone five innings or has rain delay of two hours or longer. “But the $64,000 question is where we will find the pitching (today) when we get back. Cowart can’t go again.”
Freshman Cole Vann was rocked in his two brief innings of work in Game 2 before the game was called. Jackson Fleet and Landon Holmes had Miller’s only two hits in Game 1.
SEMINOLE-SCHLEY POSTPONED UNTIL TODAY: The first two games of the GHSA Class A state playoff series between Seminole County and Schley County were pushed back until today due to unplayable conditions in Donalsonville on Wednesday.
First pitch for Game 1 is schedule for 1 p.m.
Cordele Dispatch Sports Editor Harvey Simspon contributed to this report