Raiders drop heartbreaker in extras, must win out

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Monday evening’s 8-7 loss for Habersham Central to Dacula was a dagger. While there’s still a chance for the Raiders, there is no literally no room for error.

The Raiders and Dacula are playing a three-game series this week, with the opener on Monday evening. The team who wins the series gets the final playoff spot out of region 8-AAAAAA. Last night, Dacula erased a 7-6 deficit with a dramatic seventh inning that tied the game and sent it to extras.

The Falcons put the pressure on Habersham Central early with a first inning run. The Raiders (12-12; 4-9) responded with a three-run second inning, however. The 3-1 lead didn’t hold up.

Payton Irvin and the Raiders allowed Dacula to answer back with a pair of runs to tie the game in the second. The 3-3 tie remained until the fourth, when the Falcons doubled up Hab Central with a three-run frame.

In the see-saw game, the Raiders immediately punched back, this time scoring four times in the fifth inning to take a 7-6 lead that held until the seventh. In the final stanza, the Falcons kept the game alive, tying the game off Jared Jones, sending the game to extras.

In the eighth, Habersham was unable to get a run across, leading to Dacula’s walkoff win in the home half.

Habersham was lead by Jones, who was 2-for-3 with a homerun, four RBI, a stolen base and a run scored, while also drawing two walks. Christian King tallied two RBI and two hits, while Dalton Munroe (one RBI, one stolen base), Hunter Ingle and Hogan Pitts (double) all racked up two hits apiece. Pitts and Andre Cabbagestalk scored two runs each.

With two games left on the season, Wednesday and Friday against Dacula, Habersham Central has no choice but to win both in order to take the fourth seed out of region into the state playoffs. With a win on Wednesday, the Raiders would stay alive for a winner-take-all game Friday night. If Habersham loses, Dacula secures a state playoff spot and the final game will have no implications.

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