HAMILTON, Ga. -- Harris County came into Friday night's double header against visiting Thomas County Central knowing that it needed to win one game to claim the Region 1-AAAAA title and be the No. 1 seed heading into the state playoffs.
After jumping out to a 3-0 lead after two innings in Game 1, the Tigers failed to hold onto the lead and the Yellow Jackets came from behind to win 4-3.
Drew Reeves took the mound for the Tigers in Game 2, striking out 17 batters on the way to a seven-inning shutout, giving Harris County the region title with a 7-0 victory.
Harris County and Hardaway both finished with 11-4 records in the region, but the Tigers win the title by beating Hardaway 2-of-3 during the season.
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Reeves struck out the side in the first two innings but still had to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and stranded two base runners in the second.
The win guarantees the Tigers home field advantage for the first two rounds if they win the first series.
"We get the first couple of rounds if we can play well," Harris County coach Steve Westmoreland said.
"We will have a week off. We've been healthy all year, keep our fingers crossed. Drew did a fantastic job today. It's the first time we've thrown on three days' rest and I was proud of how our guys threw."
Reeves struck out Stone Stephenson to open the game before allowing a Doug Smith single.
Peyton Singletary reached on an error ahead of an Adam Choice single to load the bases. Reeves struck out the next two batters on three straight pitches to quell the rally.
Harris County took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Kurt Ornowski was hit by a pitch, was moved to third on a Tyler Maley single and scored ahead of a Christian Wiggs single.
Maley was driven in on Neil Jimmerson's single.
Reeves gave up a double and a walk in the top of the second but struck out three Yellow Jackets to again knock down a threat.
Dillon Rogers reached on a one-out single in the bottom of the second and went to third on Ornowski's double and scored when the ball was misplayed in the outfield.
Ornowski moved to third and scored on back-to-back wild pitches by Cooper Mayhall.
Hughes Massengale walked and was driven in on an A. J. Willoughby double to push the lead to 5-0.
Reeves again pitched out of trouble in the top of the third inning this time of his own doing.
Singletary walked to open the inning.
Reeves struck out Choice for the first out.
Eli Taylor then grounded back to Reeves who threw wide to second base allowing runners to advance to second and third.
Reeves coaxed a line drive to center fielder Rogers for out 2 that was not deep enough to advance the runners before striking out Nick Taliferro to end the inning.
"I like being under pressure, it makes me concentrate more," Reeves said of pitching out of jam in the first three innings.
Reeves settled down facing the minimum 12 batters over the final four innings including 9 strike outs.
After striking out the first two batters in the top of the seventh, Reeves coaxed a ground out to shortstop Willoughby to end the game.
In Game 1 Ornowski hit the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning over the right field fence for a home run and a 1-0 lead.
Harris County added two more runs in the bottom of the second to go up 3-0.
Casey Cobb reached on a one out single.
After a Hunter Morgan strikeout, Rogers was hit by a pitch.
Ornowski picked up his second RBI of the first game with a single, scoring Cobb.
Massengale followed with a single driving in Rogers.
Thomas County Central scored single runs in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh inning to take the 4-3 win.
Friday at Harris County
TCC 001 011 1--4 10 1
Harris Co. 120 000 0--3 7 1
WP--Jonathan Robinson (3-3) S--Cooper Mayhall (3). LP--Hughes Massengale (2-1). Leading hitters--Thomas County Central, Alex Dukes 3-4, RBI, Nick Taliferro 2-4, Run, Jon Ellis NeSmith 1-1 3B, RBI. Harris County, Kurt Ornowski 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, Run, Hughes Massengale 2-4, RBI, Casey Cobb 1-3, Run.
TCC 000 000 0--0 3 1
Harris Co. 230 002 x--7 10 3
WP--Drew Reeves (5-1). LP--Cooper Mayhall (4-4) . Leading hitters--HC- Dillon Rogers, 2-3 2 Runs, 3B, Neil Jimmerson 2-3, RBI, Christian Wiggs 1-3, RBI, A. J. Willoughby 2-4, 2 RBI, Kurt Ornowski 2-3, 2 Runs.