June 22, 2018

Red Devils claim Region Crown

(Franklin, GA) — For all intents and purposes it looked like the 23 game win streak by the Bowdon Red Devils might end in Franklin Tuesday night as the home Braves led 5-3 entering the top of the seventh inning.

After the smoke cleared, however, the Red Devils would plate five runs in the inning with just one base hit and no balls leaving the infield.

The Braves were unable to answer in the bottom of the inning and the Devils claimed their first region title since 2002.

Junior Lee Kay started on the hill for the Braves before giving way to the bullpen in the top of the fifth.

The Braves scored one run in each of the first three innings and a two-spot in the fourth to take a commanding 5-1 lead before the Devils responded with two runs in the top of the fifth. The key blow in the Devils late rally was a bases-loaded squeeze bunt by Aaron Bradley to tie the game at 5-5.

The game featured an electric atmosphere with one of the largest crowds in attendance in recent memory.

The loss puts the Braves squarely behind the 8-ball as they must now sweep the undefeated Red Devils in the regular season finale doubleheader Friday to earn a home playoff game in the state playoffs.

“You know we battled all the way and our guys hung in there and put ourselves in position to win, but unfortunately we just did not do the job in the seventh,” said Coach Trent Bianco Tuesday night.

“Our hats off to Bowdon — that’s them just grinding one out and getting a win. But again it’s the same stuff we have preached all year long –we have to do the little things that we didn’t do today, getting bunts down, making routine plays, and things like that. For us to be successful moving forward it’s the little things — we still have some big games coming up Friday.”

If the Braves (12-12) can pull off the sweep Friday they would earn home field for the first round of state as the No. 2 seed but anything short of that and a road trip to northeast Georgia will be on the horizon.

Friday’s doubleheader starts at 5:00 p.m. in Bowdon where the Devils (24-0) will be looking to finish the season undefeated.

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