It hasn’t happened often this season that Colquitt County baseball coach Tony Kirkland has said he would sleep well after a loss.
But was the case on Thursday when the Packers dropped their regular-season finale 5-4 in eight innings to Crisp County in Cordele.
“If we had played like this all season, we wouldn’t have lost 12 games,” Kirkland said.
“There were few errors and there was good pitching and critical hitting from both teams. I’ll go to sleep tonight knowing we played well.”
The Packers are likely to be the No. 4 seed from Region 1-AAAAAA and would travel to play at East Coweta in a first-round doubleheader next Friday.
But Colquitt County could move up to No. 3 if Brunswick sweeps a home doubleheader from Valdosta tonight.
Tift County plays at Camden County tonight.
The Packers, now 14-12, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in a top of the fourth inning highlighted by a two-run Ryan Pipkin double.
But the Cougars, who are ranked No. 10 in Class AAAA, got four runs off Packers starter Austin Craven in the bottom of the inning.
Colquitt tied it on a wild pitch in the top of the fifth.
Jonah Bozeman pitched four innings of scoreless relief before walking Taylor Walls to open the bottom of the eighth.
Walls, who is headed to Florida State, went to second on a ball in the dirt and with one out, the Packers walked the bases loaded looking for a double play.
But a base hit in the gap ended it.
The victory was the 20th of the season for the Cougars, who have lost just twice and tied one.
Kirkland said he was expecially impressed with Walls, who helped lead Crisp to three victories over his Packers this season.
“He’s as good a ballplayer as I’ve seen in a long, long time,” Kirkland said. “As a middle infielder, he’s savvy and has a cannon arm. You don’t go to Florida State unless you’re pretty good.”
And Crisp uses Walls on the mound as well. He pitched the top of the eighth on Thursday and also closed out the Cougars recent win over the Packers at Ike Aultman Field.
The Packers had seven hits against Crisp on Thursday, including the double by Pipkin and a triple by Ross Goforth.
Daniel Mobley was on base ahead of Goforth’s triple, but was thrown out at the plate.
Bozeman, Daniel Mobley, Gabe Mobley, Mack Hathcock and Kodi Bishop had the other hits. Bishop had the other RBI.
Craven, Bozeman and Cole Bryant combined to give up just eight hits to Cougars.