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Rehobeth knocks Tigers from playoffs

Rehobeth scored three runs in the seventh inning to break a tie ball game and beat Greenville 11-8, eliminating the Tigers from the Class 5A state playoffs Saturday.

The Rebels and Tigers split a doubleheader to force Saturday’s game, but after being held scoreless for seven innings on Friday (a 2-0 Rehobeth win), Greenville’s bats were hot from the start. Hunter Harrell doubled in a run and Stewart Moody, Josh Ray and Nick Davis all had RBI singles as the Tigers built an 8-0 lead after one inning of play.

But it was too fast and too soon for the Tigers as the Rebels slowly crept back into the game. Jake Harrell started things off with a solo shot over the centerfield wall as Rehobeth scored two runs in the second inning.

With the score 8-5, Harrell launched another homerun in the top of the fifth with one runner on base and Greenville’s lead was just 8-7.

The Tigers’ hitting, meanwhile, had become notably absent. After opening the game with five hits, GHS had just two hits the rest of the way.

“I didn’t see anything he (the Rehobeth pitcher) was doing special, but we just weren’t hitting the ball,” said GHS head coach Brad Horn. “And once we did hit the ball we were hitting it right at somebody and they were diving and making catches in the outfield. I mean we were hitting the ball right on the nose and they were hitting them into the ground…the ball would hit and bounce 20-feet into the air and they were getting on (base) with it. Things just weren’t going our way.”

Moody opened the game on the mound for the Tigers before giving way to Ozell Carter in the sixth inning. Carter got two outs (one on strikes), but gave up the tying run and then started the seventh inning the same way. He struck out the first batter he faced and was one out away from putting Greenville into position to win the game in its half of the inning when Rehobeth strung together a series of hits to take the 11-8 lead.

But if the first base official had seen things Horn’s way, the Tigers would have had that chance. Prior to those three runs by the Rebels, Carter had fired the ball to Moody, (who’d moved to first base), to pick-off the Rehobeth runner.

Horn thought his pitcher had done just that.

The runner was called safe.

“The runner is in the air when we tag him…there’s no way he calls him safe right there,” said Horn.

The call was magnified, said Horn, when Raymond Moody doubled in the Tigers’ last at-bat and advanced to third on a hit by Josh Ray.

“If he calls the out in that situation, it’s an 8-8 ball game and we come to bat in the last inning and we get a guy at third,” said Horn. “If we’re able to get a dribbler, he’ll score right there. He’s (Moody) the winning run and we win that ball game right there. If he (the first base official) makes that call.”

Despite the loss, Horn said he was proud of his team’s efforts.

“They played hard and never gave up,” he said. “You can tell, even in that last inning when we were down by three, we came out swinging and never gave up.”

Greenville finishes the year 15-11.