By Anthony Rhoads
When you play baseball, you better bring your 'A' game regardless of who you play.
That's what state-ranked Griffin found out Friday at Stockbridge as the Tigers upset the Bears 12-6. Griffin entered Friday's game as the No. 6-ranked Class AAAA team in the weekly gasports.com state coaches' poll.
"I can't say enough about the kids," Stockbridge head coach Ronnie Boggs said. "The kids earned it. It's all about them. They worked their butts off; they deserved it."
Stockbridge led 5-1 after three innings but Griffin claimed a 6-5 lead after the top of the fourth. Stockbridge came back with six in the bottom half of the inning to lead 11-6.
"That's big, that's real big," Boggs said. "We've lost a couple of games in a row and it's tough to come back. This says a lot about the kids and their character."
The Tigers will look to play the spoiler role again today at home against Luella, the No. 2-ranked team in Class AAAA. The game will not only a key Region 3-AAAA contest but it's also a county rivalry game.
"I feel great about it," Boggs said. "The kids are confident, they're having fun and they play the game the way it's supposed to be played. I'm very proud of them right now."
Griffin took a 1-0 lead in the first inning but Stockbridge came back in the second. Stockbridge tied the game a 1-all when Daniel Hagler singled to drive in Brandon Ramey.
Daniel Jackson and Blain McGhee started the bottom of the third with back-to-back singles. With one out, Josh Throckmorton collected an RBI single to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Joey Shoemaker followed with a single and advanced to second on an error. The bobble in left field allowed McGhee and Throckmorton to come home.
With two outs, Donnie Wright came up with an RBI single to put Stockbridge up 5-1.
Griffin batted around in the top of the fourth to lead 6-5.
Ricky Stanley led off the bottom of the fourth by reaching on an error. McGhee followed with a single and pinch runner Jarius Daniel scored on an error. Andy Love double to drive in McGhee, giving Stockbridge a 7-6 advantage.
Stockbridge added to its lead when Ramey grounded out to first, allowing Throckmorton to score. With one out, Wright got an RBI single to score Shoemaker. Stockbridge's final run of the inning came when Lee smacked an RBI single to score Wright.
Stockbridge added one more run in the bottom of the sixth when Lee singled to score pinch runner David Head.
Jackson started on the mound for Stockbridge, allowing seven hits and six walks in 3 1/3 innings.
Stanley worked 2 2/3 innings in relief. He struck out three, allowed no hits and one walk.
n Union Grove 4, Henry County 4 (stopped after the top of the third inning): Union Grove and Henry County were originally slated to play at 1 p.m. Friday but the game was pushed back to 4 p.m. because of rain.
The game did start at 4 p.m. but a downpour in the middle of the third halted the contest.
It won't go in the record books as an official game but Henry County's Greg Lindsey got three walks and one run. Lindsey also pitched for Henry, striking out four after a shaky start in the first inning.
Lindsey led off the game with a walk and Coleton Segars singled. With one out, Andy Wilmot ripped a two-run single. Henry took a 3-0 lead when Adam Osborne got an RBI single to score Wilmot.
Kevin Barbee later scored on a passed ball to give Henry a 4-0 advantage.
Justin Timbs led off the bottom of the first by reaching first on an error and Ryan Burgess followed with an RBI single. Scott Mayo reached on an error and Michael Wear walked to load the bases. Billy Norman followed with a walk, allowing Burgess to score.
With two outs, Micah Archer collected a two-run double to tie the game at 4-all.