Gainesville’s season series against Winder-Barrow ended on Wednesday with a two-game split.
After the Red Elephants (15-4, 12-2 Region 8-AAAAA) won the opener Monday at Ivey-Watson, they dropped the second 4-1 to the Bulldoggs (15-4, 12-2) on Wednesday.
Winder-Barrow’s Casey Thurmond pitched a four-hitter and drove in two runs, while Beau Hanna hit a two-run home run for Winder-Barrow. Gainesville and Winder-Barrow are tied for second place, a game back of region-leading Loganville.
Gainesville’s Jonathan Gettys, a Louisiana State University signee, was pulled in the first inning from the mound due to discomfort in the lower part of his left leg.
“We’re not really sure,” Gainesville coach Jeremy Kemp said about Gettys’ injury. “His ankle was bothering him, and he wanted to come back in and hit. He obviously isn’t hurt so bad that he can’t play. He can still play.”
Thurmond was sharp throughout, retiring the final 18 Gainesville hitters he faced. At the plate, he had two of Winder-Barrow’s four hits in the game, including a double.
Gettys was tagged by Winder-Barrow’s Hanna for a two-run home run in the first inning. After Gettys left the game, Jack Langford entered to pitch for the Red Elephants and allowed just three base runners the remainder of the game.
Gainesville’s reliever struck out two without allowing a walk the final 5 1/3 innings.
“I couldn’t be more proud of (Langford) to come in with that situation,” said Kemp. “He wasn’t expecting to go in the first inning, especially with as consistent as Jonathan has been over the last couple years. I would’ve told him that if he had pitched like that, we would’ve found a way to get him a win.”
Being down by four runs early in the game was new territory for Gainesville, but Kemp felt like his team still had a handle on where the game was and how they could get back into it.
“Our guys are pretty mature, for the most part, and they’ve won a lot of games,” said Kemp. “Usually, they bounce back pretty good. “Today we didn’t.”
Gainesville scored its only run in the second when A.J. Smallwood, who replaced Gettys in the batting order, opened the inning with a single.
Jared Smith walked and Charlie Wall was hit with a two-strike pitch to load the bases. Langford’s single deep in the hole at shortstop scored the Red Elephants’ run.
On Friday, Gainesville visits Cedar Shoals, while Winder-Barrow faces Clarke Central, also in Athens.