Indians Fall 4-3 at Burke County in Series Clincher

The 2022 baseball season came to a heartbreaking end in Waynesboro for the Stephens County Indians Thursday night when Burke County walked off with 4-3 victory in the bottom of the 7th inning to clinch the 2nd round AAA state playoff series two games to one.

With the score tied at 3, Burke’s Beckam Ramirez grounder inside 3rd base scored Dylan Dixon from 2nd with the winning run.

Stephens County jumped out to an early lead in the game with two runs in the top of the 1st. Garrett Burgess got things started with a two-out double and scored on Ben Stowe’s RBI single. Stowe would later score on a Colby Fowler RBI single.

The Bears scored a run in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 2-1 and the score would stay that way until the bottom of the 5th when they added two more runs to take a 3-2 lead.

The Bears lead was short lived when in the top of the 6th Stephens County’s Dylan White led off with a single and scored on Craig Thurmond’s RBI triple. Thurmond would be stranded at third and the game remained tied until the base hit walk off in the 7th.

Indians starter Nick Randall and reliever Patrick Murray pitched well. Randall went 4 1/3 innings giving up just 2 runs on 3 hits, striking out 3 and walking 4. Murray took the tough loss allowing 2 runs and 4 hits while striking out 4 in two innings of work.

The Indians outhit the Bears 9 to 7 in the game led by Stowe’s 3 hits and Jacob Pruitt’s 2 hits.

Burke County improves to 26-6 on the season and will travel to Redan for a quarterfinal series. Other AAA quarterfinal series next week include Franklin County at Pierce County, Greater Atlanta Christian at Pike County, and North Hall at Harlem.

Stephens County made a great run at the end of the season with a sweep of a doubleheader at Monroe Area to make the playoffs, a sweep of a top seed at Rockmart, and falling one run short of a trip to the quarterfinals. The Indians final record was 16-17.

Seven seniors played their last baseball games as Stephens County Indians and their contributions to the program will be missed. The Indians seniors include: Sam Austin, Garrett Burgess, Ayden Garmon, Seth McCollum, Cruz Mullinix, Jacob Pruitt, and Carson Worley.