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Wednesday July 8th, 2020 10:31AM

Baseball: Lanier plays upset roll; costs Habersham No. 2 seed

By AccessWDUN Staff

Habersham Central was three outs away from sealing up the No. 2 seed and hosting a Class 6A state playoff series on Wednesday. 

Lanier's Jadyn Jackson had other plans, however. 

Jackson blasted a three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh to beat the Raiders,10-9, Monday afternoon in Sugar Hill. 

With the loss, Habersham Central (19-11, 7-8 No. 3 seed Region 8-6A) will travel to South Paulding on Wednesday for a doubleheader in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.

The Raiders erupted with four runs in the first inning, started by a Longhorn error on what should have been a routine ground ball out from Logan Hare. Colby Jones and Peyton Irvin scored on the error. Two walks later, Sutton Dover slammed a line-drive double to left field scoring Hare and Azzi Cervante. 

The Raiders racked up three more runs over the next two innings to take what seemed to be a commanding lead, 7-1. 

The Longhorns (11-17, 6-9 Region 8-6A) then went to work, digging out a run in the second and four in the bottom of the third inning - two off hits and one hit by a pitch – to trim the Raiders' lead to two runs, 7-5. 

Habersham added one run in the four-inning off a Hare single that scored Irvin extending the lead back to three runs, 8-5. 

Lanier, however, hammered out a run in the fifth inning when Chase Coursey singled to left field scoring Zach Marvel. 

But, Habersham scored one more run in the sixth inning on a Hare single that scored Hogan Pitts. 

A three-run lead wasn't enough, however, as Lanier squeezed out a run in the bottom of the sixth on a sac fly from Ben Saxon that scored Bryce Bulls, erasing one off the Raiders' leading going to the final inning. 

Murray sat the Raiders down in order in the seventh inning, with two strikeouts and forced Jones to ground out, giving the Longhorns one more shot to ruin the day for Habersham. 

The Longhorns opened the bottom of the seventh inning with a double from Murray. Hare then struck out Alex Boodram, securing one out. But, Bulls walked the next at-bat to set up the hero-moment for Jackson. Jackson took the 2-1 pitch from Hare and belted it over the right field fence for the winning runs, 10-9.

Murray earned the win on the mound for the Longhorns, allowing no hits or runs in two innings of work. He also struck out two. Chase Niekro, Austin Cantrell and Dylan Leahy saw work in relief out of the bullpen for Lanier. Will Hausknecht started the game going 2/3 of an inning giving up four runs, no hits and one strikeout. 

Peyton Irvin took the loss for Habersham Central. He lasted two innings, allowing four runs on six hits and walking zero.

Hare led the Raiders at the plate with a 3-for-4 day and two RBIs. Jess Wilbanks and Dover drove in two runs each. Alex McFarlane had one RBI.

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