GAINESVILLE, Ga. - It just wasn't meant to be.
For the second season in a row, Glascock County fell in a decisive Game 3 of a Class A baseball semifinal series.
This time, it was a 10-0 defeat at the hands of Lakeview Academy on Tuesday afternoon.
The game was shortened to five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
"We're pleased we made it this far," Panthers coach Don Mims said. "We had a great season. Any time you make it this far, you have nothing to hang your heads over."
As in last season's 7-3 loss to Bremen in Game 3 when several pitchers left the game with arm injuries, the Panthers were once again the victims of some bad luck.
It happened in the first inning when center fielder Timothy Murphey suffered a leg injury trying to get to a hard-hit ball. The Lions scored four runs in the inning.
"The thing we worried about all year was injuries," said Mims, who had only 13 players at his disposal. "(Murphey) just couldn't cover the ground."
Glascock County starter Matt Kent, who threw 100 pitches in Game 1 on Monday, didn't last but a third of an inning.
"We were just going to try and go a couple of innings and pitch by committee today," Mims said. "We were hoping he could go two or three and not get a big pitch count."
Mims eventually had to move his star player to left field and finally to first base. Lakeview took advantage of Glascock County's inexperience in the outfield by plating two more runs on misplayed balls in the top of the second to lead 6-0.
Lions starter Clay Haynes quieted the Panthers' bats, tossing a one-hitter and claiming his fourth Game 3 victory of the postseason. The senior struck out four and allowed only four baserunners.
"He was everything we needed today," Lakeview coach Deuce Roark said.
Lakeview finished Glascock County off in the top of the fifth. After Will Crumley was hit by a pitch, Johnny Laws hit his second double of the game. J.B. Little then roped a two-RBI triple to make it 9-0.
Billy Saye, who finished with three RBI, followed with a double to score Little. Saye also had a RBI single in the top of the third.
Josh Daniel got Glascock County's lone hit in the bottom of the third.
Although Mims loses Murphey, Kent, Derrick Wood and Adam Chalker off his second consecutive semifinal team, he thinks the Panthers will be contenders again in the near future.
"We'll work hard," Mims said. "We've got some kids we've been bringing along."
glascock county 0
Lakeview42103 -10 130
Glascock Co. 000 00 -0 11
Kent, Wood (1), Allen (5) and Daniel. Haynes and Cash. WP-Haynes. LP-Kent. 2B-Lakeview, Wellborn (2), Laws (2), Cash, Wood 3B- Lakeview, Little HRs- Lakeview, Haynes. Leading hitters- Lakeview, Wood 3-for-4, Wellborn 2-for-3, Laws 2-for-3, Saye 2-for-3.
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