THOMSON — As his team was on the long drive from Cairo in the state playoffs a year ago, Cross Creek coach Tavis Cummings told his players he didn’t want to travel like that again.
The Razorbacks made sure there won’t be any exhausting trips through at least the first two rounds this season.
Cross Creek won a close, error-filled Region 3-AAA championship game, 4-3 on Friday night. With the win, the Razorbakcs clinched their first region title since 2005 and a No. 1 seed in the GHSA Class AAA state tournament.
“I told them I didn’t want to take that ride anymore,” Cummings said with a smile.
A wild seventh inning featured threats by both teams. But Cross Creek (20-5-1) was the only one to score, with Jesse Carroll starting a rally with a one-out walk. Three batters later, an error at second – Thomson’s fourth of the game – broke the 3-3 tie.
In the bottom of the inning, the Bulldogs got a tough start as Josh Jones was called out on a close play at first. Even with the leadoff man out, Thomson challenged, with a hard hit ball at second leading to Cross Creek’s fourth error of the night.
Later, with the bases loaded and two out, a groundball reached the shortstop, and the throw just beat a hustling Austin Whitehouse to first for the final out.
As soon as the umpire called the last out, the Cross Creek players raced to near the mound to celebrate.
However, early on Friday night, the Razorbacks looked like they wouldn’t need a thrilling finish.
Cross Creek jumped out to a 3-0 lead through three innings, with Craig Waits’ RBI single joining with two throwing errors for the run-scoring plays.
Whitehouse later doubled home his team’s first run before an error on a rundown and an RBI ground tied the game at 3-3.
But the Bulldogs (13-12) couldn’t reach home again, including on the golden chance in the seventh.
“You just got to be positive and look at the bright side of it,” said Thomson coach Aaron Hall, whose team will also be playing at home in the first round of the state playoffs.