No gold for Tattnall this time around
Playing from behind wasn’t a position Tattnall Square had to worry much about this postseason.
It was, however, a situation the Trojans had to deal with twice against Savannah Christian in the GHSA Class 1A private school baseball championship series.
Savannah Christian posted a pair of powerful fifth-inning performances, scoring three runs in Game 1 and scoring four more in Game 2, to take big leads in both games Friday at Grayson Stadium.
Tattnall had no answer in Game 1, losing 5-2. The Trojans rallied to tie things in Game 2, but they couldn’t prevent a decisive seventh-inning base hit that gave the Pirates a 5-4 win and the series victory.
Jarret Brown came up with the big blows in each game for Savannah Christian, a two-run single in the fifth inning in Game 1 and the game-winning looper over the third baseman’s head at the end of Game 2.
Savannah Christian, which won its first GHSA baseball championship, wrapped up a 33-3 season. Tattnall, which was bidding to win its fifth championship in six years between the GISA and the GHSA, finished at 31-5.
Five who mattered
Zack Brockman and Kyle Hilton: As powerful as Tattnall’s pitchers have been this postseason, the Trojans finally went up against a duo just as powerful. Brockman, a Liberty signee, scattered five hits in the opener, striking out seven and walking three. Hilton followed up with a two-hitter, both surrendered in the sixth inning, to go along with three walks and eight strikeouts
Brown: Arguably the series MVP, the Savannah Christian shortstop went 2-for-4 in Game 1 and followed up by going 1-for-3 in the finale with a sacrifice bunt in the fourth and the game-winner in the seventh. He also reached via error in the fifth inning of Game 2.
Matt Blair: The Tattnall starter had a 1.05 state playoff ERA, but Savannah Christian put runners in scoring position in four of Game 1’s seven innings. He went the distance, giving up eight hits while striking out five and walking three.
Austin Marchman: His base hit to right in the sixth inning of Game 2 drove two runs home and helped Tattnall tie things up in the sixth.
Turning point, Game 1
Brown’s two-run single in the top of the fifth effectively sealed things in Game 1. It was the third hit up the middle allowed by Tattnall that inning.
Turning point, Game 2
After giving up four runs in the sixth to let Tattnall tie things up, Hilton went to the mound in the seventh and struck out the side in order, with two of the batters going down looking.
Not quite as dominant: Blair had 31 strikeouts during his first three state tournament appearances, going for double-figures in each outing. He was held to five in Game 1.
Gambling … and the house wins: Tattnall’s Destin Mack tried to outrun Savannah Christian fielders in the third inning of Game 1. He tried to go from first to third on Mikey Wilson’s base hit to right, reaching safely on a close throw when the ball bounced past the third baseman. Mack then darted home, but he wasn’t so lucky: Raiders catcher Chris Dettling was waiting at the plate with the ball as Mack slid into home.
Just about wiped out: The wheels just about fell off for Tattnall in the fifth inning of Game 2. Savannah Christian sent eight batters to the plate that inning, scoring four runs on two hits and three errors, including a massive overthrow to right that plated two Pirates runners. But Tattnall got the runs back in the top of the sixth, with the Trojans scoring four runs on two hits, an error and two walks.
They said it
Tattnall’s Logan Simmons on the loss: “We made mistakes, and we really weren’t focused. But we take it as a learning experience. Hopefully next year we can come back and win it again.”
Tattnall head coach Joey Hiller on the Game 2 comeback: “I was really proud of the way our kids competed at the end of the second game, scoring those four runs to tie it when it looked like, ‘Oh my.’ … It was unfortunate to lose the game in the end, but that’s baseball, and Savannah Christian has a heck of a good team.”
Savannah Christian head coach Carl Carter on winning several close postseason games this season: “We’ve been playing like that all year. We probably won eight ballgames by one run. Basically, it’s not over until it’s over. Our guys just keep fighting and fighting and don’t give up.”