The Yellow Jackets (14-5, 11-4 Region 7AAAAA) entered the game as the top team in region. Creekview (13-8, 10-5) is close behind as is Sequoyah (14-8, 11-5), which defeated Forsyth Central 3-1 Wednesday and Pope (11-10, 10-6).
Tied 2-all entering the bottom of the seventh, Nick Williams led off with a double. An Austin Smith single moved Williams to third before Sprayberry relief pitcher Kevin Runge issued an intentional walk to load the bases. Avery Smith connected with a one-out single that drove in Williams for the winning run.
“Both teams really had timely hitting,” Creekview coach Mike Nayman said. “Every hit that was put in play wound up being critical because it either knocked someone in or was the guy who scored. It was a 3-2 game. There were five RBIs on the night and only eight hits.”
Sprayberry got out in front 1-0 in the top of the third when Tristan Fletcher drew a two-out walk, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by Zach Williams.
Creekview got the run back in the bottom of the frame following an on-field emergency. Sprayberry center fielder Lee Allen apparently lost consciousness and had to be taken from the field by ambulance.
After play resumed, Gary Brigham singled to second and stole second before R.J. Knecht drew a one-out walk. The next batter Chandler Wold was hit by a pinch, which loaded the bases. After a fly out, Sprayberry pitcher McKenzie Mills then issued a walk to Nick Williams, which forced home Brigham.
In the top of the fourth, Sprayberry struck again. After Grizzlies starter Jonathon Mouw hit Spencer Fann and courtesy runner Vanden Patel entered for Fann, Bobby Gauvreau doubled off the fence to plate Patel.
Mouw struck out back-to-back batters to end the threat.
Creekview trailed until the bottom of the fifth when they tied it on a walk, a steal, an error and a single by Austin Smith.
Neither team score again until Creekview rallied in the bottom of the seventh.
Mouw pitched the complete game for Creekview, giving up just two runs on two hits and two walks. He struck out 12, including the side in the seventh.
“Mouw was really just outstanding,” Nayman said. “He was dialed in and he made one bad pitch—the one that Gauvreau hit, but that was about the only time that he wasn’t on the spot. It was a great outing for his part.”
Runge worked the final two innings for Sprayberry and took the loss after giving up one run on four hits.
The next 48 hours will determine a lot in the Region 7AAAAA standings. With games that were rained up on Monday being made up tonight and regularly scheduled games on Friday, teams have the potential of moving up or down as many as two games.
“You really have six teams fighting for four spots, but the top of it is an absolute dogpile,” Nayman said. “You are almost looking at the loss column. You need eight losses or less at this point. You want to get to12-8, 13-7, and 14-6. That loss column is really a big deal. That is why (Wednesday) was critical for us. We didn’t want to put that sixth loss on the board with five games to go. It’s certainly an amazing region this year.”