COLUMBUS, Ga. - Hardaway evened the score on Friday at one apiece with Columbia County.
The Region 2-AAAA Hawks avenged a second round loss from last season to Greenbrier by knocking off Lakeside in two games at home in the first round of the state baseball tournament.
The Hawks (21-9) rallied from four runs down in the sixth inning in Game 1 to win 7-6, and never trailed in the second game, winning 5-1.
"We squeaked out a win in Game 1 and carried it over into Game 2." Hardaway coach Tracy Powell said.
A two-run double by Jeff Rowland propelled the Panthers to a 6-0 lead in the fourth inning of the first game. Hardaway bounced back with two runs in the fifth. Eric King's three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth pushed the Hawks past the Panthers, but not without some controversy.
In the sixth, umpires called interference on Lakeside at third base, then gave Hardaway an extra base to score the run despite a protest from the Lakeside coach staff.
"We had a 6-0 lead and we lost," Lakeside coach Jimmy Smith said. "That is a tough way to go. We lost any momentum we might have had."
David Williamson pitched a complete game for Hardaway in Game 2, surrendering one run - a home run by Richard Flake in the seventh inning. Jacob Anderson went 3-4 with a home run for the Hawks in the second game.
"We pitched well and our pitching has been good all season," Smith said. "We just didn't hit the ball. We have no one to be mad at but ourselves."
Lakeside finished the season with a 20-9 record.
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