By Anthony Rhoads
Midnight struck on Eagle's Landing Christian Academy's Cinderella season Saturday at home as the Chargers fell 16-5 to Mt. Paran in the Class A state semifinals.
The teams split Friday night with Mt. Paran winning 8-4 and ELCA taking the nightcap 4-1.
Mt. Paran (24-9) advances to play Calvary Baptist this week for the state championship.
"It's disappointing but it's hard to be disappointed with all we did this year," Shadowens said.
Eagle's Landing Christian (23-12) jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first inning but Mt. Paran chipped away at the lead, scoring two runs each in the second and third innings and one in the fourth to tie the game at 5-5.
Mt. Paran erupted for eight runs in the fifth and a walk-off three-run home run by Charlie Boring topped off the victory for the Eagles.
"You can't take anything away from Mt. Paran; they're good," Shadowens said. "They're a better ball club than us and they deserved to win the game. As a team, they were a better team than us and they deserve to be going to the state championship game."
Bradley Eady and Zach Werho led off the game with back-to-back singles and with one out, Christian White was intentionally walked to load the bases.
With two outs, Brian Moss ripped a three-run double and Micah Usry followed with a walk.
Luke Caison and Joey Hart collected consecutive RBI singles to put ELCA up 5-0.
The Chargers struggled the rest of the way, only getting five hits the rest of the contest.
Brian Satterfield started for ELCA, going only 2 2/3 innings. White, Moss and Werho all pitched for ELCA in relief.
"We ran out of everything," Shadowens said. "After 35 games, we finally ran out of pitching."
The Chargers entered the state playoffs as the No. 2 seed out of Region 5-A, beating St. Francis and Mt. Paran to take second in the region standings.
ELCA opened the playoffs by sweeping Georgia Military College at home. The Chargers then went on the road to upset fourth-ranked Temple in the second round. In the quarterfinals, the Chargers again had to go on a road trip but were victorious in three games against the No. 1 team in the state, Schley County.
"I'm pleased with what they did this year," Shadowens said. "They had a good attitude, they worked hard, they had a work ethic and they wanted to be coached. We had great team chemistry this year. I've never known 14 guys who like each other. We didn't have any attitudes, they were all team players. It was a dream coaching these guys."
The 2005 season was the first year for ELCA in the Georgia High School Association after several years in the Georgia Independent School Association.
"We knew it was tough in the Georgia High School," Shadowens said. "We knew it was going to be tougher than the GISA. It sent a message that we're here. It was good to have a good season."