SAVANNAH – The Gatewood School baseball bats did arrive at Historic Grayson Stadium with the Gator players Friday; they just weren’t put to very good use until Saturday.

Fresh off the sting of a 12-0 five-inning loss to the Terrell Academy Eagles of Dawson Friday to start the GISA AA championship best-of-3, Gatewood tagged the baseball like it was a pinball and scored runs like it was playing pinball. Game 2 went to the Gators 11-10, and Brandon Moss’ club was as up by as many as five, 7-2, in the deciding contest that began after 10 p.m.

But well after the clock struck midnight (no fairy tale references, please), Gatewood ran out of offensive steam, and behind the only home run hit over the short Grayson left-field wall, Terrell Academy surged ahead in the middle innings and claimed the first-place trophy after a 10-8 final.

Gatewood jumped out as much as six midway through Saturday’s second game with Terrell Academy.

Gatewood came out hitting the baseball and hitting it hard. Gavin Fried drove in the first Gator run of the series in the first inning tying the game 1-1.

Terrell would go on to build a 5-1 lead, one that disappeared on the Eagles in the third inning. Trey Wiggins and JW Thompson singled in runs, then Ben Brannen’s grounder was bobbled at shortstop allowing another run to score. Tanner Johnson beat out an infield single to earn an RBI, then Caleb Riser walked with the bases loaded.

Each team was going through pitching, even Gatewood’s Game 1 starter Walker Roberts. He held the Eagles at their five runs while his teammates erupted for six in the bottom of the fourth. Wiggins’ sacrifice fly came after singles by Fried and Moore giving Gatewood its first lead in Savannah.

Thompson singled up the middle, Brannen doubled and two errors padded the advantage to 11-5.

The game went into the seventh with Gatewood’s lead down to 11-9. Ames Johnson was on the mound, and while the Eagles scored one, there was a lot of work for Wilson Moore at third base. He got two outs, and with the bases loaded Johnson induced a pop-up to the shortstop Fried.


With a triple from Roberts and Fried’s sacrifice fly, Gatewood went back to the visiting team role with the championship on the line. That staked the Gators to an early 2-0 advantage.

The Gators were doing what every baseball coach hopes to see: hitting and scoring in every inning. At least, that’s how it was for five frames on Gatewood’s side.

Brannen got the RBI single in the top of the second, which ended at 3-1 Gators. Ames Johnson began the third inning with a double and came home on another sacrifice fly, the score becoming 4-2 for Gatewood.

Things were looking promising in the fourth as Riser's double produced two runs. With an error through in from Terrell’s infield, the margin was at five, 7-2.

But when the Eagles took their turn, it started with the home run. The lead would soon be gone, Terrell taking the 8-7 advantage after scoring six in all.

Brannen, with two strikes on him, managed a game-tying RBI single in the top of the fifth. All of the game’s scoring concluded in the fifth, for the Eagles scored two in the bottom half.

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