published Thursday, May 8th, 2014

After losing to Yellow Jackets, Calhoun rallies late, forces deciding game tonight at 7

CALHOUN, Ga. ­­— Calhoun may not have turned the tables completely on its baseball nemesis, but the Yellow Jackets did the next best thing on a late Wednesday night.

Calhoun (24-5), after losing 12-1 to Lovett in game one of a Class AA second-round best-of-three series, rallied late to win game two, 6-4, forcing a deciding game tonight at 7. The Yellow Jackets used a pair of clutch RBI hits from Brett Peek to first extend the game and then win it in the ninth inning.

"We were down to our last strike, but there's not a hitter I would rather have up there than Brett Peek," Calhoun coach Chip Henderson said. "I'm speechless. These guys showed their grit tonight and layed it all on the line. I know Lovett, though, and they will be back tomorrow and ready to play, so we had better be as well."

Game one was tied at 1 entering the fifth inning when the Lions (19-9) sent 10 batters to the plate against Calhoun starter Matt McHan, scoring six times on seven hits, to put that game out of reach.

They were leading game two 3-2 with two out in the seventh and Calhoun's Logan Walraven on second. Peek, after fouling off two pitches with two strikes, laced a single up the middle and the speedy Walraven scored just ahead of the throw. Avery Johnson followed with a triple to put the Jackets, the visitors in game two, ahead, 4-3.

Lovett, though, loaded the bases with one out against reliever Spencer Cross and Henderson turned to senior Johnson, who struck out Will Geraghty for the second out. Grant Haley, however, singled to right, scoring one, but Walraven's strong throw from right cut down Alex Sayles at home to extend the game.

In the ninth an error and Peek's double to left scored one and, following a wild pitch, Johnson made it a 6-4 game with a sacrifice fly. Johnson then worked around a hit batter to finally end the thriller.

Peek had three hits, two RBIs and three runs scored, while Johnson was 2-for-3 with two RBIs for the Jackets.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6296.

about Lindsey Young...

Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...

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