By Derrick Mahone
For the first two innings, Mundy's Mill had Newnan were they wanted them.
The Tigers held a one-run lead, and appeared to be in position for an upset of third-place Newnan in a key Region 4-AAAAA contest. However, the Tigers couldn't hold their momentum in the third inning.
Newnan got seven runs on four hits to break open the game to cruise to a 15-7 victory Tuesday on the road. While the Tigers remain in playoff contention, the loss put a dent in their playoff hopes.
Mundy's Mill couldn't recover from a third inning that had several fielding bloopers. Trailing 2-1, the Cougars picked up seven runs to take a 8-2 lead into the bottom of the inning.
"That inning was big for them, because it gave their pitcher some confidence," Tigers coach Patrick Smith said. "The runs allowed their pitcher to go up their and do his thing. They had some balls to find the gaps."
The Tigers would add a run in their half of the third, but could never retake the lead or come any closer. Newnan added four more runs in the fourth. "We knew coming in that we had to play our A-game if we were going to win," Smith said.
"They had an inning where they made some big hits. Newnan is a good team. You have to make all your routine plays against them. We had some defensive breakdowns."
Smith threw four pitchers at the Cougars and got four strikeouts while giving up 10 hits and 15 runs. In the third, Newnan batted around to take control of the game.
In the first meeting between the team, Newnan won 19-12 last month.
Smith was hoping his team could take the big hits away this time around.
Mundy's Mill jumped to a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom on the first when Corey Harmon sent a solo home run over the left field fence. Newnan would tie the game in the second inning Zach Farmer scored after leading off with a double.
The Tigers would respond in their half of the inning when Pierre Boyles leadoff with a walked and scored on a ground out by Raphael Griffin retake the lead.
"We are a team that fights back," Smith said.
"We have fought from bigger deficits this season. I knew we had to slow them down. We threw four pitchers at them to give them some different looks."
With the loss, Mundy's Mill dropped to 10-7 overall and 5-6 in the region as Newnan, which is in third place, improved to 16-4 and 10-2. The Tigers, who are in fifth place, are two games behind Creekside for the region's final playoff spot.
Mundy's Mill travels to Douglasville to take on first-place Chapel Hill Thursday.
"We are still in the playoff picture," Smith said. "We just have to win the games we are suppose to win, and then still a couple other games."