Redan third baseman Tyrell Wyatt made a big defensive play in the bottom of the seventh inning of to get the final out of the game to seal the Raiders 6-5 come-from-behind victory to sweep the Class 2A second round high school baseball series against the Rockmart Yellow Jackets on Saturday.
The Raiders (20-10) had just scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead for the first time since the first inning and were looking to close out the series.
The Jackets (19-12), who had led since the bottom of the first inning, found themselves in a do or die situation in the bottom of the seventh trailing by one run.
Jake Bailey got the inning off to a good start for Rockmart with a single off Derek Peoples Jr. who had relieved Redan starter Daelyn House in the bottom of the sixth to put up a goose egg and keep the Raiders within one.
Bernard Moon came in in relief of Peoples and walked the first batter he faced to put runners on first and second with no outs in the inning. Moon then struck out Nolan Clemons who was 5-7 on the day to get the first out. Calliyon Thompson grounded back to Moon for the second and Rockmart had runners on second and third with just one out remaining.
Rockmart’s Kason Zuker then hit a slow hopper down the third base line where Wyatt charged the ball and threw to first just in time to get Zuker for the final out of the game.
The Raiders had won the first game of the series 10-0 and got off to a quick 1-0 start in the top of the first of the second on a solo shot to right by Moon.
Rockmart answered with three runs in the bottom of the first to take its first lead of the day. Two of the runs scored as the Raiders mishandled a run down between home and first to make it 2-1. Zuker then singled with two out to drive in the third run for the 3-1 advantage for the Jackets.
Redan rallied to tie the game at 3-3 on an RBI double by Luis De La Cruz in the second and a sacrifice fly by Wyatt in the third.
Redan starter Daelyn House pitched three scoreless innings before errors got hi in trouble in the bottom of the fifth allowing two runs to score for a 5-3 Rockmart lead.
Jamie Howze RBI groundout to score Moon who had walked to start the sixth pulled the Raider within 5-4 going into the bottom of the sixth. Peoples then overcame a leadoff error to set down the next three Jackets in the sixth to keep the Raiders within one.
De La Cruz reached on an error to start the seventh and then stole second to put the tying run in scoring position for Redan. Rockmart starter Hunter Atkins, who would go the distance in the loss, then set down the next two batters to bring Josh Westbrook to the plate as Redan’s last chance.
Westbrook skied a pop fly into shallow center that fell between three Jackets and De La Cruz went home to tie the game at 5-5. Brightwell followed with a single deep in the hole between short and third to bring Westbrook home with the go-ahead run.
Atkins got out of the inning without further damage.
De La Cruz led the Raiders at the plate going 2-3 with a double, RBI and run scored. Peoples picked up the win going one-plus innings (5 batters) and Moon earned the save. Atkins took the tough loss for Rockmart while going 2-3 at the plate with a run scored.
Game 1: Redan 10, Rockmart 5
Redan jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the first game of the series and quelled a seventh inning rally by Rockmart on the way to a 10-5 victory to take a 1-0 lead.
Redan got out to a 2-0 in the bottom of the second as a pair of Rockmart errors helped the Raiders push a pair of runs across the plate. A pair of ground-rule doubles in the bottom of the third inning helped Redan extend the lead to 4-0. Bernard Moon’s deep ball to right field bounced over the fence to put runners at second and third. Three batters later Derek Peoples Jr hit a ground rule double to left-center field to score two more runs.
Nolan Clemons singled in a run with two out in the top of the fourth inning for Rockmart. Trey Luke singled to center and Clemons was cut down at the plate on a great throw by center fielder Collin Brightwell to end the inning.
Redan added to the lead in the fourth on a RBI single by Brightwell to score Westbrook, who had tripled, to make it 5-1. People’s hit into a fielder’s choice in the fifth to score Howze to push the Raider margin to five at 6-1 heading into the sixth.
Moon helped the Raiders put up for more runs in the sixth with a two-run double to right-center field to go with RBI from Wyatt and Peoples to make it 10-1 heading into the top of the seventh.
RBI singles in the top of the seventh by Rockmart’s Thompson, Hulsey and Clemons helped the Jackets put up 4 runs in the inning before Wyatt enticed Luke into a ground out to third to end the game.
Yannick Butler went six innings to pick up the win for Redan allowing just one run and striking out five. Moon finished 2-4 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored to lead Redan at the plate. Brightwell was 2-3 with a RBI and two runs scored while Westbrook was 2-3 with a triple and two runs scored.
Rob Yagyu took the loss for Rockmart going four innings. Nolan Clemons was 4-4 with two RBI, Hunter Atkins was 3-3 with a double and run scored and Kason Zuker was 2-4 with a RBI.
Redan returns as the home team at Gresham Park next Saturday to take on Region 3 champion Appling County (22-9) which swept Worth County (19-12) 6-1 and 13-2 on Saturday. Times have yet to be set.
DCSD BASEBALL STATE PLAYOFF RESULTS
CLASS 2A SECOND ROUND
Redan 10, Rockmart 5
Redan (20-10) 6, Rockmart (19-12) 5
Redan wins series 2-0
DCSD BASEBALL STATE PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
CLASS 2A QUARTERFINALS
AT GRESHAM PARK – HANK AARON FIELD
Appling Co. (22-9) vs. Redan (20-10), TBA (DH)