Jared Jackson gets mobbed by his teammates after driving in the winning run against East Coweta.
Wins don't get much sweeter than Sandy Creek's thrilling 2-1 victory over East Coweta on Tuesday. The Patriots walk-off win gives them much needed momentum as the season really starts to gear up.
"It feels real good," said Sandy Creek coach David Cooper. "We're about a week out from region play. We need to win some games and get the feeling of winning before we get into our region. It's a very tough region and you need all the momentum you can going into that."
The Patriots should be able to pull plenty of energy off this game going forward. Seniors Anthony Dodd and Jared Jackson led the way with clutch performances. Dodd pitched a complete game, allowing no earned runs. Jackson had two extra base hits, including the game winner, and scored one run.
"Man, it's good when your pitchers throw a really good game and you play some pretty good defense behind him," said Cooper. "A key hit there at the end put us over the top."
For Sandy Creek, it's the play of those veterans that will get the program where they want to be.
"There comes a time in every season where those guys have to get that done. That's two seniors throwing you on their back for a day and bringing us to a win," Cooper added. "Those are the players that are trying to build this program back to where it was. They're the leaders and they're the examples of what we want the young players to grow into."
Defense was key in the early going as it allowed the Patriots to kill a first inning threat. The Indians led off the game with a walk, but Jackson quickly got him off the bases with his rocket arm on a steal attempt. Back to back singles followed, but Sandy Creek took care of that with a 5-3 double play on a big catch by Cole Jackson and a throw to get the runner leaning too far off first base.
Sandy Creek's offense struck first with a run in the bottom of the third. After East Coweta's starter left with an injury, the Patriots jumped on the Indians lefty reliever. Jared Jackson scorched a double and was driven in by a double by Trevin Bolden for the 1-0 lead.
East Coweta got on the board in the sixth inning. A leadoff single by Cam Smith was followed by some heady baserunning to get into position. Smith attempted to swipe second base and, when no one covered the bag on the throw, raced over to third as the ball skittered away. Stephan Cruver blasted a deep sacrifice fly to right field to plate Smith and tie the game.
The Patriots ended any need for extra innings with a run in the bottom of the seventh. Andrew Hughes led off with a single. The push looked like it was dead after two outs, but Jared Jackson stepped up big time. Jackson sliced a laser into the left-center gap for a walk-off double as Hughes raced home for the win.