The South Effingham Mustangs struck for two runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game, and Zach Anderson scored the game-winner in the eighth on a passed ball as they captured the Region 3-AAA South baseball title with an 8-7 win over Liberty County on Friday night.
“We had to come from behind,” Mustangs coach Tony Kirkland said. “We did everything in our power early to give (the game) to them. Then we fought back like dogs to get it all back. They did a great job.”
Chris Zittrouer’s two-out RBI double in the top of the seventh plated the tying run, sending the game to extra innings.
Colby May got the win in relief, going 2 2/3 innings, and was 2-for-2 with two doubles at the plate. Patrick Styblo was 2-for-4 and John Roberts was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer for the Mustangs (14-9, 8-2 region).
The Mustangs will travel to play Harlem today for the region championship and the No. 1 seed from the region in the Class AAA playoffs.
South Effingham and Richmond Hill finished with identical region records and split their season series, but the Mustangs won the run differential tiebreaker.
Regardless of today’s outcome, the Mustangs are guaranteed at least one home game in the state playoffs.
“You’d like to have the playoff atmosphere at your place,” Kirkland said. “It’s a whole lot better than getting on a bus for four or five hours.
“We’ve somehow managed to reach goal number one,” he said. “The next one is right in front of us.”