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April 19-- The J. R. Trippe baseball team (#2 seed) hosted Jeff Davis (#3 seed) in the first round of the District Playoff while West Laurens (#1 seed) hosted Dodge County (#4 seed) on Thursday, April 18. The Chiefs and West Laurens both won so the championship game will be held at West Laurens on Monday, April 22 at 4:30 p.m.

The Chiefs had another tough game against Jeff Davis but unlike both the regular season games that they lost in the last inning they won this one in the last inning with a walk-off single from Tucker McDonald. West Laurens got a run rule win in their game against Dodge County. This sets up a rematch of last year’s championship game which the Chiefs won by scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning.

Hagen Brantley started on the mound for the Chiefs giving up a couple of walks in the top of the first inning along with a ground ball and a wild pitch allowing a run to score. In the bottom of the first the Chiefs plated three runs with only one hit. Kaleb Bennett led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tucker McDonald. Walker Moncus walked and Bryson Coleman came in as a courtesy runner for him promptly stealing second base and moving to third on an errant throw to third by the catcher allowing Bennett to score. Coleman then scored on a wild pitch giving the Chiefs a 2-1 advantage. Brantley struck out but Cason Banks followed with a walk, stole second, moved to third on the catchers overthrow and then scored as the ball was thrown away by the centerfielder trying to get him at third base.   A ground out to first finally ended the inning with the Chiefs up 3-1.

The score remained that way through the fourth inning. In the top of the fifth inning Jeff Davis got a lead-off walk, a sacrifice bunt, an error, a couple of stolen bases and a hit to tie the score at 3-3. Both teams were three up and three down in the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh Brantley struck out the leadoff batter but then back to back singles put two men on with one out. Moncus came in to pitch as Brantley replaced him behind the plate. The runner at second stole third putting men on first and third. Moncus got the first batter he faced on a liner to Banks at shortstop for the second out who then just missed getting a double play on the throw to third. On the first pitch to the next batter the ball got by Brantley who hustled to get the ball and threw to Moncus covering the plate to get the runner trying to score from third to end the inning.

That gave the Chiefs the chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh. Andrew Norfleet led off the inning with a single to right center field. Bennett put down a sacrifice bunt to move Norfleet to second bringing up McDonald. Norfleet moved to third on a curve ball in the dirt as McDonald swung and the ball bounced away from the catcher. McDonald fouled off the next pitch getting in the hole with a 0-2 count. He fouled off two more pitches before lining a single up the middle to score Norfleet for the walk-off 4-3 win.

   Moncus got the win in relief. The Chiefs hitters were Bennett 1-3, McDonald 1-3, Carson Ricks 1-3, Dawson Lumley 1-3 and Norfleet 1-3. The Chiefs will be looking to repeat as District champs on Monday at West Laurens.

For staff use only.