On Friday, losing still meant winning for White County.
Even though the Warriors lost 8-6 to Franklin County in Cleveland, they still emerged as Region 8-AAA champions and earned a top seed in next week’s state playoffs. White County hosts Carrollton in a three-game series, with the first two games Friday. Game 3, if necessary, will be played Saturday.
By losing, the Warriors (21-4, 20-4 8-AAA) needed help winning the region title, since North Hall beat Johnson 15-0 to end the season with an identical 20-4 league record. The Trojans owned the tiebreaker over White County (run differential in head-to-head meetings), so for the Warriors to win region, Gainesville had to beat Chestatee to force a three-way tie, with all teams at a 20-4 record. Gainesville beat Chestatee 18-3.
The three-way tiebreaker was record in head-to-head meetings between the three teams, and the Warriors won with a 3-1 record.
For the Warriors, it’s the first region title in program history.
“The kids played well all season,” Warriors coach John Brown said. “Beating Gainesville twice was big, and we had some close games we didn’t let get away. It’s not the way we wanted to do it (with a loss), but we went with our best pitcher last night to make sure we were in good position heading into tonight.
“We figured Gainesville would beat Chestatee.”
On Thursday, White County sent Luke Crumley to the mound and he delivered a complete game gem, striking out 13 in a 13-2, six-inning win over Lanier. He also hit two home runs and drove in four.
On Friday, he homered again, along with Brett Westmoreland, but it wasn’t enough.
Kyle Mills (0-1) took the loss. Hayden Cummins was 2-for-4.
Gainesville owned the tiebreaker over North Hall by beating them twice, and is the No. 2 seed. The Red Elephants will host Troup next Friday. North Hall is the third seed, and will travel to LaGrange next Friday.