Bulldogs Fall In 2nd Round
The Toombs County High School Bulldogs baseball team had their season come to an end in the Sweet 16 last week as they fell to Pace Academy's Knights on Wednesday of last week. Depending on the poll Pace is ranked either #1 or #2 in the State in AA. Toombs was held scoreless in the first game of the double header, but in the second game they put up a fight and kept it close through five innings.
In the top of the first inning the Bulldogs had a couple of runners on base, but could not convert. In the bottom of the inning Pace loaded the bases and got some help from Toombs as two batters walked to bring in two runs. A hit added another run to the board as Pace led 3-0. Toombs got out of the jam as pitcher Logan Knight got a strikeout to end the inning.
In the bottom of the second inning the Knights added to their lead with a run off a sacrifice fly. That put them on top 4-0. Toombs couldn't get anything going over the next few innings, but they also kept the Knights off the board. But in the bottom of the fifth inning Pace plated three more runs as they pushed their lead to 7-0. Pace scored one more run in the sixth inning to take an 8-0 lead into the final inning. In the top of the seventh the Bulldogs looked as if they could make a run as they loaded the bases with just one out. But a double play by the Knights ended the Bulldogs threat and the game with Pace winning 8-0.
Toombs was the home team in the second game of the series, and Brantley Upshaw was on the mound for the Bulldogs. In the top of the first inning the Knights came through with two runs to take the early lead over Toombs. Pace added a run in the top of the second inning to make it 3-0, but in the bottom half of the frame the Bulldogs finally got on the board. Kodie Cortez and Knight both picked up singles to put two runners on base for Toombs in the bottom of the second inning. Bryson Stanley lined a ball down the line, scoring Cortez, to close the lead to 3-1. But that was all that Toombs could do in the inning. Pace answered with a run in the top of the third inning to push the lead to 4-1. In the bottom of the fourth inning. Jason Dukes got a hit and then Jesus Quintero laid down a good bunt. Pace committed a throwing error on the play, allowing a run to come in for the Bulldogs to close it to 4-2. That was followed by a sacrifice fly by Cortez to make it 4-3. Quintero then scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 4-4. Stanley added a single, but Pace got out of the inning without allowing another run.
In the top of the sixth inning Pace got the bats going. They strung together a couple of hits as they took back the lead, 5-4. A squeeze play made it 6-4, and then a double and another single gave them a 9-4 lead over the Bulldogs.
Pace brought in their closer in the sixth inning, and he kept Toombs off the board in the inning. Pace added one more run in the top of the seventh to make it 10-4. In the bottom of the final inning the Pace closer injured his arm and had to come out of the game. Toombs took advantage. With two runners on base, Brantley Upshaw had a two-RBI hit to close the lead to 10-6. Caden VerSluis came in to run for Brantley and moved over to second on a passed ball. Toombs kept battling as VerSluis moved over to third base, but a strikeout ended the game with Toombs falling 10-6.
Upshaw and Stanley each had three hits in the game for Toombs.
Toombs finished the season with a record of 14-17-1 and made it to the playoffs for the second year in a row.