MOULTRIE — In his 30 years as the baseball coach at Colquitt County High, Jerry Croft had been involved in just one tie game and that came in 1987.

Until last Saturday, that is.

Originally reported as a storm shortened 9-6 loss to Centennial High, the game actually will go on the books as a 6-6 tie.

The Knights had scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 9-6 lead, but the Packers were unable to complete the bottom of the inning before a storm caused the umpire to call the game.

According to the NFHS rule book, Rule 4, Section 2, Article 3, “If the game is called when the teams have not had an equal number of completed turns at bat, the score shall be the same as it was at the end of the last completed inning; except that if the home team in its half of the incomplete inning, scores a run (or runs) which equals or exceeds the opponent's score, the final score shall be as recorded when the game is called.”

So the score reverted back to the last completed inning, the sixth, when the game was tied 6-6.

So Croft’s career record now stands at 454-270-2 and the 2006 Packers record is 5-11-1 as the team heads to Lowndes today to try to even its Region 1-AAAAA record.

And the Packers will try to climb to 2-2 in the region against the current region leader. The Vikings are 3-0 in the region after rallying from a 6-0 fourth-inning deficit to defeat Valdosta 8-7 in a meeting of the finbal two unbetaen Region 1-AAAA teams.

Lowndes went 5-4 in its first nine games of the season, but now has won seven in a row and is 12-4.

The Wildcats pounded out 16 hits against Lowndes and led 6-0 when the Vikings came to bat in the fourth.

Lowndes scored four times in the inning off Valdosta starter Will Flail, then added another in the fifth on a Jon Michael Redding home run.

Valdosta scored another run in the sixth to go up 7-5, but the Vikings were not done, scoring twice with two out in the bottom of the inning, aided by a bad-hop single.

What proved to be the game-winning run scored from third when a throw from the catcher trying to catch a stealing Lowndes runner went into center field.

Chris Mederos pitched the final two innings to get his second win of the week.

Redding, Mederos and John Simpson each had two hits for the Vikings.

Colquitt won its region opener by rebounding from an 8-1 deficit to defeat Tift County 15-14.

But since then, the Packers have lost 7-2 to Valdosta and 11-1 to Houston County.

Those two losses were part of a four-game week that saw the Packers lose three before getting the tie with Centennial High of Roswell, which was in south Georgia on Saturday as part of a spring break trip.

Croft said he hoped his team would be closer to full-strength today.

Starting catcher Drew Shealy missed the last two games with an illness, but is expected to play tonight.

Scotty DeMott also was under the weather on Saturday, but played anyway and contributed a pair of hits.

And pitcher/outfielder Andrew Wallace’s ailing shoulder appears on the mend and he could work his way back into the starting rotation as the Packers face the final seven games of the Region 1-AAAAA schedule.

Croft said either senior right-hander Chance Pitts (2-1, 5.60 ERA) or junior left-hander Matt Weaver (1-2, 9.55) would get the start at Lowndes tonight.

Croft said he was encouraged by the performance of sophomore left-hander Andrew McDowell, who did not give up an earned run in 5 2/3 innings on Saturday.

“He’s coming on,” Croft said. “He’s going to be OK. And the other two lefties (Wallace and Weaver) are looking better.”

The Packers had nine hits and will take a .325 team batting average into the game against the Vikings.

Wallace leads the team in hitting with a .480 batting average.

He was 1-for-2 with a double, a walk, a sacrifice fly and a run batted in against Centennial.

Second baseman Carter Jones was 3-for-4 on Saturday to raise his average to .375.

Weaver, Wallace and Jones are all juniors.

“The future looks bright for us,” Croft said. “I just don’t know right now when that future will be.”

Also tonight, Houston County (2-1) will travel to Douglas to meet Coffee (0-3) and Tift County (1-2) will go to Valdosta (2-1).

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