By Phil Albert
Special to The Daily
With one Region 4-AAAAA baseball game remaining in the regular season, Mundy's Mill needs a victory to post a region title heading into the state playoffs.
Luck ran out on the Bulldogs Wednesday night in a 13-inning four-plus-hour marathon loss to the visiting Newnan Cougars, 8-4, dropping the Bulldogs to 17-3 on the season, 9-2 in region play. The Bulldogs close the region season Friday afternoon against Paulding County. A victory by Mundy's Mill would tie East Coweta for the region title with 10-2 marks. Both Mundy's Mill and East Coweta split the season series.
Andrew Ross pitched six-and-two-thirds innings of relief to earn the victory, while Barry Thomas, the third pitcher used by the Tigers, was tagged with the loss. The Cougars tagged Thomas with four runs in the 13th inning, including a two-run double by Alex Head and RBI hits by Bill Dancy and Carson Carroll.
The loss was disappointing and spoiled both a strong relief effort from Quintavius Drains and a seventh-inning comeback by the Tiger offense.
Drains pitched the equivalent of a Major League game in relief, throwing nine innings and striking out 13 Cougar batters. In a three-inning span (9th through 11th), he struck out eight of the nine outs recorded.
Drains replaced Miguel Starks, who pitched three innings. Starks was rocked for three runs, four hits and three walks over three innings.
Drains would surrender a fourth Newnan run in the seventh inning before Mundy's Mill staged its miraculous comeback.
Newnan pitcher Garrett Smith threw six innings, allowing only five hits, striking out six and walking two entering the seventh inning in his longest outing of the season.
But Smith tired out in the seventh, walking Broderick Westmoreland, Trey Holman and Stephen Francois to load the bases with no outs. Tyler Marchman replaced Smith and was greeted by a bad-hop single by leadoff hitter Jarius Brown, good for two runs. Will Gorman grounded out for an RBI and Barry Thomas singled to tie the game. Walks to Drains and Starks loaded the bases with one out, with Ross coming on in relief. He struck out Brandon Hughes and got Westmoreland to ground out to end the inning.
Newnan, already leading 1-0, struck for two runs in the third on a triple by Hand. The Cougars added a fourth run in the seventh on a double by Kevin Dunn.
Meanwhile, the Tigers were lacking the timely hit. They left runners on second and third in the first inning and had two hits in the third before a double play ended the threat. Two more runners were stranded in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings each. The Tigers loaded the bases in the 11th on two hits and a walk with one out, but Ross cooly ended the inning, forcing a strikeout and a popout.
Mundy's Mill plays Stephenson this afternoon and travel to Paulding County Friday for the regular-season finale.