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Staff photo by Robin Rudd / Ringgold center fielder Ty Gilbert slides as he catches a line drive during Thursday's region game at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe.

It's not often a baseball coach likens his team to a horse, but Ringgold's Drew Walker sees a resemblance to a famous equine in this year's lineup.

The Tigers led rival Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 3-0 entering the bottom of the fifth inning Thursday in a key GHSA Region 6-AAA game at LFO, but the Warriors tied it entering the seventh before Ringgold decided to kick it into high gear.

A three-run inning, keyed by RBIs from Ty Gilbert, Sam Crew and Dre Morris, lifted the Tigers to a 6-3 win that, entering Friday's regular-season finale, puts Ringgold (17-12, 12-3) one win away from securing the region's No. 2 seed and a home playoff date.

Walker said the rally follows a somewhat frustrating trend from his team that has, despite some tense moments, continued a strong second half of the season after a poor start.

"I call this team Seabiscuit all the time," said Walker, referring to the champion race horse. "They will sit on leads and then not kick it back in gear until someone ties the game or goes ahead. To be successful moving forward, we will definitely have to have more of a killer mentality and put teams away."

Crew drove in three of Ringgold's runs, including an RBI single in the fifth inning for the 3-0 lead.

LFO (16-11, 9-6) rallied as Tanner Mantooth and Eli Walker had RBIs in a two-run fifth inning and Jacob Gregg tied it with a double in the sixth before Ringgold's winning rally.

The Warriors need a win and a Coahulla Creek loss to Sonoraville to get the region's No. 4 playoff seed.

Photo Gallery

Ringgold at LFO baseball on April 21, 2022

Sonoraville 11, Coahulla Creek 1: The Phoenix (19-7, 11-4 Region 6-AAA) clinched at least the league's No. 3 playoff seed and still have a shot at the No. 2 spot after Trevor Childers went the full six innings and allowed one hit and no earned runs while striking out seven batters. Easton Childs had two hits, one a grand slam, and drove in five runs, while Brock Clements drove in two runs and Cole Gross was 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored twice. The Colts (13-13, 9-6) need a win in the series finale Friday or a loss by LFO to get the fourth playoff spot.

Trion 4, Armuchee 3: Blake Mathis was 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the winners, while Brantley Willbanks drove in a run for the Bulldogs (14-10, 9-5 Region 6-A public).

Silverdale Baptist 8, Marion County 1: Turner Junkins allowed five hits and one earned run and struck out eight, while Sebastian Hanks and Brett Rogers each had a homer and combined to drive in seven runs as the Seahawks improved to 21-3-1.

Sale Creek 3, Whitwell 0: Camden Penny struck out seven batters and allowed four hits in six innings, and Jakob Elrod pitched a perfect seventh for the save. Elrod was 2-for-3 at the plate, with both hits doubles, and had an RBI, while Drew Hillian and Javion O'Kelley each drove in a run for the Panthers (14-3-1).

Sequatchie County 6, Bradley Central 4: The Indians (12-10) scored four runs in the top of the seventh to win the nonregion game. The rally started with two outs and no one on and ended with a three-run double by Anthony Wright and a run-scoring single from Tayven Boston.

Chattanooga Christian 10, Signal Mountain 9 (8): Keegan Nieckula scored the winning run on an error after hitting a triple in the extra inning. Luke Tinholt was 3-for-5 with two doubles, drove in two runs and scored three times, while Rafe Montgomery added three RBIs for the Chargers (8-10). For Signal Mountain, William Fugatt was 4-for-4 and Sean Bohman and Carter Giles each hit a homer and drove in three runs.

Boyd-Buchanan 21, Bradley Knights 1: Jacob Pickett was 4-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored for the Buccaneers (9-7) in their nonregion win.

 

SOFTBALL

Silverdale Baptist 10, Boyd-Buchanan 0: Katherine Willoughby allowed two hits and struck out six batters in five innings while also hitting a homer. Bentlee Stiner also homered, as did Kennedy Stinson, who drove in three runs for the Lady Seahawks (21-7).

Cleveland 7, McMinn County 3: Madison Long and Ashley Allen combined to allow six hits while striking out five batters, and Keaton Wheeler drove in three runs for the Lady Blue Raiders.

Walker Valley 7, Ooltewah 4: Sierra Brown had two hits and two RBIs, with Madilyn Kidd also driving in two runs and Hannah Guffey and Addison Woodall adding two hits each for the Lady Mustangs (20-12-1). For Ooltewah, Alexis Poling and Shianne Schmitt had two hits and an RBI each.

Soddy-Daisy 10, Hixson 0: The Lady Trojans improved to 24-5 as Ryli Renfro had a homer among her two hits and drove in two runs, with Hannah Pattison adding two doubles and scoring twice in support of Regan Rowan, who allowed one hit and struck out nine in four innings.

 

BOYS' SOCCER

Southeast Whitfield 7, Cairo 0: Jerry Favela scored four goals as the Raiders (16-2-3) cruised at home to reach the GHSA Class AAAA quarterfinals, where they will host either Marist or West Laurens.

Northwest Whitfield 2, Thomas County Central 1: In another second-round match in AAAA, Nico Cuna scored a pair of goals, including the winner in the second half as the Bruins (14-5-1) triumphed on the road to give their county two of the final eight teams in the bracket. Cuna scored just after halftime for the game's first goal before Thomas County Central tied it on a penalty kick.

"Overall, we had plenty of opportunities and I'm proud for the boys for staying calm and playing our game," said Northwest coach Isael Gutierrez, whose team will travel to North Oconee on Monday. "Nico Cuna battled hard to get the the goals he scored."

Gordon Central 2, Fitzgerald 0: The Warriors advanced in Class AA with the second-round win at home.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.

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