On an emotional day for the Georgia Regents baseball program, the Jaguars scored three runs in the ninth to beat Carson-Newman 3-2 on Sunday at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
Georgia Regents held Terry Childers Day to celebrate the life and impact of the team’s first full-time coach, who died Nov. 5 after a battle with cancer.
“I think Terry had a hand in this win,” Jaguars coach Jason Eller said. “It’s really neat. I can’t be happier for them to honor him, and to come back and win is just icing on the cake for an emotional day. It was really nice.”
Georgia Regents snapped a 23-game losing streak dating to March 20, while avoiding a three-game sweep in the season-opening series against Carson-Newman.
The Jaguars trailed 2-0 with only four hits entering the ninth. Two consecutive singles set up an RBI single by Connor Gilbert, and Boose followed with a game-winning, two-run double.
“It took us a few innings to catch up, but the kids persevered,” Eller said. “We put together some great at-bats. To start a rally like that, it gives the kids confidence they can do anything.”
Childers’ family and former players attended to honor the former coach, with son Terry Childers Jr. throwing out the first pitch. The Jaguars wore a patch with Childers’ initials on their jerseys.
“It means a lot to have him honored,” Childers Jr. said. “We’re a big baseball family, and he started us out in the sport. We’re very pleased that he’s being honored.”
The elder Childers was hired by Augusta College in 1980 and remained there five seasons, totaling 133 wins. After a rough first season that resulted in only 14 wins, his 1981 team had an 18-win improvement, and his teams never won fewer than 27 games the next three years.
“Not only was he a great coach, he was a great father,” said Nat Dye, who played for Childers. “He was like a second father to me.”
Childers had four sons play baseball at Westside under coach Gerald Barnes, and all four played professionally.
He was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1965 out of Richmond Academy, but he elected to play at Georgia Southern. He was later picked by the Chicago Cubs and played eight seasons as catcher in the minor leagues.
“He was always there for us,” Childers Jr. said. “He always came to our games and supported us. We thank the school and program for honoring him.”