After falling behind early, Cross Creek appeared to be working its late-game magic one more time.
Despite giving up eight runs in the first, the Razorbacks charged hard at the end but could never fully recover. For senior pitcher/third baseman Jacob Lazenby, it was a disappointing ending to the season.
“The last two innings, we worked hard. But it really doesn’t mean much,” he said. “We should’ve played that hard from the very beginning.”
Cross Creek rallied in the final two innings but fell short in a 12-10 loss to LaGrange in the deciding game of their Class AAA second-round series.
LaGrange (22-9) advances to play at Ringgold in the the state quarterfinals. Cross Creek ends its season at 23-8-1.
“Before the game, we stated we must limit the mistakes and control the crooked numbers on the scoreboard,” Razorbacks coach Tavis Cummings said. “We didn’t do that.”
The Razorbacks, who scored five runs in the final two innings and had the winning run at the plate in the final frame, will think about a lost opportunity to make their first trip to the quarterfinals.
Still, Cross Creek can reflect on winning the Region 3-AAA title – the school’s second region crown – along with posting the most wins in school history.
“It was a great season,” Cummings said. “If anyone would have told me with the players we lost last year that we would be here, I probably would’ve given a paycheck for it. They came together as a group and fought hard.
“It’s a great season, but I’m dissatisfied. I’m not the type of coach who takes moral victories too well.”
Starter Tyler Grooms suffered some bad luck and didn’t escape the first inning. After walking the first batter, Grooms watched Deshaun Todd chop a grounder just over third baseman Craig Waits. Then, Caleb Williams hit a grounder underneath the glove of first baseman Joseph Osborne.
LaGrange eventually batted around, plating eight runs on five hits and three errors.
Grooms faced 11 batters and got two outs before Cummings replaced him with Blake Miller.
Cross Creek responded with five in the second only to give up four runs in the third. The Razorbacks trailed by five when they scored three runs on two outs in the last inning. With two runners on base, Todd forced Grooms to ground out to end the game.