BASEBALL: Gordon Lee rallies late to win Region 6-A title
Back on March 30, the Gordon Lee Trojans suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss to Aurora Central Catholic High School out of Illinois on the final day of the Chattanooga Central tournament.
They haven’t lost since, reeling off 10 consecutive victories to go into the Class 1A Public School state playoffs on a roll. However, victory No. 10 in that streak was unquestionably the biggest.
Thursday night in Chickamauga, the Trojans rallied from a 6-0 deficit after five innings and won the Region 6-A championship with a dramatic 7-6 victory over Fellowship Christian in nine innings.
Gordon Lee, ranked No. 1 in the Class 1A Public School state rankings by ScoreAtlanta, managed just two hits through the first five innings against the Paladins, although two walks and a single in the fourth inning was all for naught as the Trojans left the bases loaded.
The visitors from Roswell, ranked No. 6 in the Class 1A Private School standings, scored twice in the top of the first inning and chased Gordon Lee starter Brody Cobb after scoring four times in the top of the fourth to take a seemingly comfortable six-run lead.
But the comeback would begin in the bottom of the sixth inning as Chris Potter launched a two-run homer and Cade Peterson delivered a two-out, RBI-single to cut the lead in half.
The Trojans would tie the score just one inning later and needed just one swing of the bat to do it. J.D. Day belted a three-run blast to left-centerfield, knotting the score at 6-6 and forcing extra innings.
Gordon Lee would wiggle out of trouble in the extra frames. They stranded two Fellowship runners on base in the top of the eighth and they got a 6-4-3 double play in the top of the ninth to erase a leadoff walk.
In the bottom of the ninth, Hunter Hodson reached base on an error and Potter would deliver a one-out single to bring Day to the plate. The Paladins would elect to intentionally put Day on first to load the bases with one out, setting up a force out at home or perhaps even a double play to get out of the gym. But instead, Garren Ramey drew a walk to bring in Hodson with the region championship-winning run.
Hodson got the win in relief. He pitched 3.2 innings and allowed two hits and five walks. He also had a single at the plate. Cobb lasted 3.2 innings and gave up two earned runs on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts. Logan Streetman gave up an earned run on three hits and two walks in 1.2 innings of work.
Potter was the only Gordon Lee player with multiple hits. He finished 3-for-4.
Gordon Lee (24-4) earned an automatic bid into the state tournament with the victory. The automatic bid, combined with the Trojans’ current power ranking number - second overall by more than two full points and just .02 point behind first-place Schley County - all but assures that the Trojans will have home-field advantage through the state semifinals. The final power ranking numbers will be released early next week.
The state finals will once again be played at a neutral site, yet to be announced.