Before the season even started, the coaches, and probably most of the players, at Brighton and Munford knew that winning two games before losing two in the district tournament was necessary to move on to region and a chance to make state.
One of those two teams will not achieve that goal.
Brighton and Munford play each other for the fourth time today at 6 p.m. in Savannah in the District 13-AAA tournament. The winner will face Dyer County in the district title game and punch its tickets for a region semifinal game next Monday. The season is over for the loser.
Munford (16-15) lost to Dyer County Saturday, 4-1. A win would have clinched a region berth. The Cougars got to that game by beating Brighton for the third time on Friday in a wild 5-4, 14-inning game in Savannah.
Corey Simmons led off the bottom of the 14th with a single for Munford and Steven Kendrick ended it with a walk-off single.
Brighton tied the game at 4-4 on a solo homer by Eli Davis in the top of the fifth and that's where the scored stayed for 10 innings. A solo homer by Munford's Garrett Baugh in the bottom of the third tied it at 3-3.
Several players for both teams had big games.
Austin Cousar was 4 for 6 for Munford and also pitched the first nine innings. He struck out six, walked one and allowed 10 hits before being relieved by George Cundiff, who struck out four and allowed four hits over five scoreless innings to get the win.
Also for Munford, Drew Drexler and Simmons each singled three times, Baugh was 2 for 5 with two RBIs, Kendrick singled twice and Brennan Hollie had a double.
Brighton had 13 singles, including three from Will Dunlap and two each from Matthew Smith and Dalton Rushing. Brett Wilkins, Garrett Dawson, Brent Howard and T.J. Klutts each had one. Klutts, Dawson and Smith each drove in a run.
Matthew Jacome started on the mound for Brighton and went five innings. He struck out three, walked one and allowed seven hits. Dunlap pitched the final eight, striking out three and allowing eight hits.
Dyer County starter Jordan Fowler struck out 11 and held Munford to five hits over seven innings in Saturday's winners' bracket game.
Cousar had a double for Munford and Riley Bampfield, Kendrick, Simmons nad Drexler each singled. Kendrick drove in Munford's lone run in the top of the third.
Simmons pitched well but took the loss. He struck out six, walked one and allowed just two earned runs on seven hits.
Jeff Ireland is The Leader's sports editor. To contact him, call 901-476-7116 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.