Magee ends West Marion's dream seasonBy JOSHUA CAMPBELL,
The West Marion Trojans faithful are going to have to wait a little longer to raise a state championship trophy.
In the school’s best chance since the football team lost to Collins by four points in the south state championship in 2015, the Trojans baseball team lost a 14-inning thriller to Magee T night 8-5 in the deciding Game 3 with a trip to state on the line.
West Marion (23-12) pulled off an improbable comeback just to make it to extras that stirred a ton of controversy. Magee scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to pull in front 4-2 and was one out away from sealing the deal. West Marion loaded the bases with two outs and Dalton Raynes at the plate. Raynes hit a sharp groundball to Magee’s second baseman, who slow played the throw, and Raynes gave 110 percent effort, slid head first and beat the throw. With Magee first baseman Landon Hayes believing Raynes was out, Logan Fortenberry and Josh Boone came around to score to even the game.
Magee head coach Allen Eubanks was furious about the call, was ejected from the game for arguing and had to be escorted out of the ball park.
The game remained knotted at 4-4 until the top of the 11th when Hayes got redemption and crushed a solo dinger to left field off West Marion’s Jayden Duncan. The Trojans answered right back, however, by manufacturing a run the hard way. Boone struck out on a pitch in the dirt, but the throw to first sailed into right field and allowed Boone to reach second. He advanced to third on another pitch in the dirt and scored on a Duncan groundball that caromed off Magee pitcher Luke West’s glove.
In the top of the 14th, Magee got runners on first and third with two outs and had Cayden Bridges at the dish facing an 0-2 count. Trying to get Bridges to chase, Duncan spiked a pitch in the dirt that took a high bounce over West Marion catcher Clay Blocker’s head and allowed a run to score. Two pitches later Bridges connected for an RBI double to right field, and Magee added another run on a shallow fly to left.
This time West Marion couldn’t answer, mustering just one single by Shelby Terrell in the 14th and failing to score to extend the game.
For full story, see the Saturday edition of The Columbian-Progress.
Pictured Above: The Trojans celebrate after scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the game to extras. | Photo by Joshua Campbell