GUYTON -- South Effingham left fielder Maddox Shiell threw out a runner at the plate, dramatically ending the game and preserving the Mustangs' 9-8 victory over Pope on Tuesday in the opening game of a best-of-three series in the quarterfinals of the Class AAAAAA state baseball tournament.
Pope won the nightcap 9-3 by scoring six runs in the sixth inning to break a tie.
The two teams meet today in the deciding third game at 4:30 at SEHS.
In the first game, the Mustangs (27-10) tied a school record with their 27th win of the season. They pounded 15 hits led by Kaleb Johnson's four. Nick Duke and Noah Hollis had three hits apiece.
Hunter Walthour pitched four innings in relief to pick up the victory.
In the second game, Pope lefthander Peyton Cariaco scattered four hits to pick up the victory.