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Diamond Packers sweep region DH from Valdosta

Mar. 30—MOULTRIE — Mired in a four-game losing streak in which it had scored just one run and a day after its coach resigned, the Colquitt County baseball team got back on its feet and swept a key Region 1-7A doubleheader from Valdosta on Friday at Packer Park.

The Packers shook off its recent offensive woes and put the unexpected resignation of coach Brandon Brock behind them to run-rule the Wildcats 16-6 in Game 1, then got a walk-off single from catcher Hayden Hembree with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning to win the nightcap 4-3.

"I think this will help this team a ton," said Chance Pitts, who was named the interim head coach after Brock stepped down on Thursday.

"The fight we showed. I mean, the dugout was rowdy the whole game. The boys showed they can come back and battle through any adversity on the field and win a game."

The sweep raised the Packers' region record to 4-5 and kept alive their chance to finish strong in the region.

"We knew if we didn't win tonight, we wouldn't be able to host a playoff game in the first round," said Hembree, who drove in four runs in the first game then lined a single that drove in Jake Walker to win the second game.

"We were just trying to stay positive and not dwell on what had happened."

Defending state champion Lowndes, which did not play a region series this week, sits atop the region standings with a 5-1 record.

Richmond Hill, which took two of three games from Camden County this week, is in second place with a 3-3 record.

Camden County and Colquitt are tied at 4-5, but the Packers have the tiebreaker advantage after taking two of three from the Wildcats.

With its two losses on Friday, Valdosta falls to 2-4 with series against Richmond Hill and Lowndes remaining.

After struggling against Lowndes and being held to just one hit in Tuesday's 3-1 loss at Valdosta, the Packers erupted for six runs in the first inning of Game 1 on Friday.

The Wildcats scored five runs in the top of the third to cut the Packers lead to one, but a five-run bottom of the fifth gave the Packers a six-run lead and four more in the sixth ended it.

The Packers had 12 hits, including three by shortstop Adam Beverly, who also scored three runs.

Hembree had a pair of two-run singles, including one in the big first inning in which the Packers sent 10 batters to the plate.

A two-run single by Cam Cook in the bottom of the sixth gave the Packers a 10-run lead and invoked the GHSA mercy rule.

Colquitt also got two hits from Bryce Roberts and Brady DeRosso.

Cook, Jake Walker, Jackson Chambers and Bowen DeRosso also had hits.

Sophomore starter Logan Plymel went the first 2.2 innings and surrendered five of the six Valdosta runs, although only one was earned.

Cook Tompkins finished up, giving up one run and one hit over the final 3.1 innings.

In the second game, it was Valdosta that got the early advantage, scoring three unearned runs in the second inning off freshman starter Bowen DeRosso.

But over the next three innings, DeRosso walked a batter and hit another with a pitch, but did not give up any more hits or runs.

Chambers was summoned to pitch the sixth inning and struck out the first two batters.

The final out came when shortstop Cam Cook, who is the team's primary left fielder, grabbed a ground ball behind second and made a leaping throw to first to retire Om Patel.

In the top of the seventh, Chambers walked the leadoff batter and a fielder's choice and a sacrifice put runners at second and third with just one out.

But the junior right-hander struck out Skyler Howell and got Andre Mason to line out to left to end the threat.

Still down 3-2, the Packers got a one-out single to left by Bowen DeRosso to start the seventh-inning rally.

Brother Brady DeRosso grounded out to second, moving Bowen to third.

Then, with the Packers down to their last out, Jake Walker ripped his second-straight double of the game to left to score Bowen DeRosso and tie the game.

Hembree followed by lining a 3-2 curveball to center field to score Walker to give the Packers the win and a well-earned celebration on the field.

Asked about his seventh-inning at bat, Hembree said, "I was just trying to hit it hard somewhere. Just do my job."

Cook, Walker, Hembree and Brady DeRosso each had two hits in the second game. Beverly, Bryce Roberts, Bowen DeRosso and Mason Moore each had one.

Now 12-11 overall, the Packers will play twice in Florida next week, singles games at Mosley High of Lynn Haven on Tuesday and at South Walton in Santa Rosa Beach on Wednesday.

Colquitt's final Region 1-7A series will begin with a home game at 6 p.m, on April 9 at Richmond Hill.

The Wildcats will come to Packer Park for a doubleheader on April 12.

The regular-season finale will be at noon on April 16 at Lee County.