After scoring 31 runs in three games against Marion County in the first round of the playoffs, Ragland managed only six runs in two games against the Bulldogs. The Purple Devils lost both ends of a doubleheader, 7-4 and 12-2.
Gaston 7, Ragland 4
Gaston opened the scoring in the first game with one run in the first inning.
With one out, Gabe Crain singled. Jordan McCartney then doubled to centerfield to score Crain to make it 1-0.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Bulldogs added to their lead as Sean Love opened the inning with a triple to left field. He later scored on a wild pitch by Scotty Smith to make it 2-0.
In the home half of the fourth inning, Ragland's Matt Hicks just missed a solo home run and settled for a double off the left field fence. Riley Day attempted to score Hicks on a sacrifice bunt, but failed to bring him in. Jaylen Brewster reached on a fielder's choice.
His brother Jacob, bunted, but Hicks was caught in a rundown between third base and home. Scotty Smith saved the inning as he had a run-scoring single to right field that scored Jaylen Brewster.
Karson Winn popped up on the infield and catcher Jackson Boyle called for it, but dropped the ball that allowed Jacob Brewster to score and tie the game at 2-2.
In the top of the fifth inning, Gaston scored three runs against Scotty Smith to regain the lead.
Right fielder Eddie Hamilton opened the inning by reached on an error by Nick Daniels and he wound up on second base. Jesse Brittain had an infield hit to put runners at first and third with no outs. Crain grounded to third base and Daniels' throw home was not in time as Hamilton scored to put Gaston back on top 3-2.
Brittain scored as Destin Pollard was thrown out at first on a strikeout. That made it 4-2. Crain scored on a single by McCartney to make it 5-2.
An RBI single by Crain in the top of the sixth inning scored Brittain to make it 6-2.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Scotty Smith tripled with two outs, but Winn grounded out to end the inning.
Scotty Smith worked six innings and gave up six runs on eight hits. He struck out 10, and walked one.
His brother Nick Smith came on to pitch the seventh inning. McCartney greeted Smith with a single to right. Pinch-runner Michael Satterfield was erased at second as Love beat out a double play ball. Love stole second, went to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-2.
Daniels singled and Nick Smith reached on a fielder's choice to start the seventh inning. After two outs, Day walked to load the bases. Jaylen Brewster walked to bring in Daniels to make the score 7-3.
McCartney was replaced by Love who walked Stoney Merritt to bring in Nick Smith to make it 7-4, and the tying runs on base with Scotty Smith at the plate. But Scotty Smith popped up to the first baseman right in front of the Gaston dugout to make the final score 7-4.
McCartney was the winning pitcher. He worked six and two-thirds innings and gave up four runs on 10 hits. He had seven strikeouts.
Gaston 12, Ragland 2
The Bulldogs scored five runs in the first inning, and five more in the second inning, leaving little doubt who would win this game.
Nick Daniels was on the mound for Ragland, but he lasted just one and one-third innings.
In the first inning and after one out, Crain reached on a bad hop to shortstop that Nick Smith could not handle. Pollard walked and McCartney blasted a two-run single to make it 2-0.
Before the inning was over, Gaston scored three more times to make it 5-0 after one inning of play. Ragland committed four errors in the first inning.
In the top of the second inning, KeShawn Killings singled, stole second and went to third on a ground out by Hicks. But he was stranded at third base.
In the bottom of the second inning, McCartney singled in Crain to make it 6-0 and that was all for Daniels. He gave up six hits and struck out one. He hit two batters, and had four wild pitches.
Nick Smith came on to pitch for the Purple Devils. Love greeted him with a single. Bogle walked to load the bases. Dustin Gunter had a RBI bounce out that scored McCartney to make it 7-0. Joey McClellan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded that scored Love. Brittain had a two-run single that made it 10-0.
With two outs in the top of the fifth inning, and Stoney Merritt and Scotty Smith on base, Winn beat out an infield hit that plated Merritt and Smith to keep the game alive and the score 10-2.
Gaston added a single run in the bottom of the fifth inning as a RBI single by McCartney scored Pollard.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Gaston got the run it needed to put Ragland away and win the game 12-2.
Allen Davidson picked up the win while Daniels suffered he loss.
Ragland finished the season with an overall record of 13-14.
Contact Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.