Even Yogi Berra might have said this one was over.
The Cross Creek baseball team had other ideas as it clawed back from an eight-run deficit with six outs to go Thursday in the second round of the Class AAA playoffs. With five runs in the sixth inning, Shaw High School's lead was whittled to three.
That's when Jon Egan launched his 17th homer of the year with a man, cutting the lead to one with two outs left in the season.
"I'm not going to tell no lies and say we knew we had this all along," Shaw senior Brandon Street said. "I was shaking in my cleats in the outfield after that homer."
It was almost a miracle.
But Razorbacks senior Kevin Bryan bounced into a game-inning double play to end the most successful season in Cross Creek history with an 11-10 loss.
"We just kept chipping at it and never gave up," Egan said. "Not even our best fans thought we had those runs left in us."
Egan's blast was another shot in the arm for a club that plated five runs in the sixth and saw ace Brett Wiggins return to the mound to work a scoreless seventh. Wiggins threw 101 pitches on Wednesday and needed 14 to work the seventh.
"Brett told me if I could get us through the sixth he'd find a way to work the seventh," said Egan, who went six innings. "Great heart from a real great team player. He sucked every bit of heart up to go for us there."
The painful stat was the nine runners the Razorbacks (23-6) left on base after the game was halted for two-plus hours due to rain. The team left six runners in scoring position across the first six innings against Shaw's Rad Mitchell.
"All those opportunities are hard to swallow," Cross Creek coach Bob Polweski said. "With that final score, all we needed was to squeeze just one more run from that and this would have really been something."
Especially given the way Shaw (19-12) limped to the finish. Game one starter Trey Manz was handed an eight-run lead. He gave seven of them back.
But Manz had one surge left to induce the ground ball twin-killing to end the series.
Egan finished 6-for-8 in the series with four walks. Senior Aubrey Payne had four of his six hits in the series Thursday.
"This game was definitely gut-check time for us to win it," Polewski said. "We didn't get it but we showed a lot of guts in trying to get it. This is just a bad way to end a great year."
Reach Jeff Sentell at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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