DANIELSVILLE — Madison County's Dylan Gentry limited Jefferson to just two hits in leading the Red Raiders to a narrow 2-1 victory Friday in the Region 8-AAAA season finales for both teams.
The win, coupled with Oconee County's loss to North Oconee, clinched the region title for the Red Raiders (14-14, 9-6 Region 8-AAAA) in the upcoming Class AAAA state playoffs. Oconee County finished second with Jefferson dropping to the No. 3 seed. Stephens County beat St. Pius to claim the fourth spot.
Patrick Hickox took the loss for the Dragons (16-12, 7-8). Hickox went the distance allowing two runs, both were unearned, on eight hits while striking out seven.
Madison County scored single runs in the first and fourth to take a 2-0 lead it held until the seventh. Jefferson's Lane Watkins belted a leadoff home run in the seventh but Gentry retired the next three batters to close out the win.
Jefferson was oh-so-close to winning the region title. The Dragons finished two games back of Madison County in the standings and lost four region contests by two runs or less and two games by one run.
The Class AAAA state playoffs will begin next Friday with Region 8-AAAA taking on Region 6-AAAA in the first round.